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Barnes' Popular History 

of the United States 

of America 





From Prehistoric America 
to the Present Time 


Profusely Illustrated 


Publishers New York 

Copyright 1875, 1878, 1895, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1912 and 1914, 
By A. S. BARNES & CO. 

OCT 23 1914 




Four centuries ago, it was not known that the earth is round, 
much less that so vast an ocean awaited a Columbus and a new con- 
tinent a Cabot. North America was then a wilderness, and its in- 
habitants were savages. The story of its marvelous development 
is now to open before us. It will be ours to tell it, not in a dull, 
dry-as-dust style, but with somewhat of the earnestness of the men 
who cut down the primeval forest, and the fire of the soldiers who 
first subdued the heathen possessor and at last drove out the British 
invader. We shall find every hard fact to be brightened with the 
romance of real life, than which nothing is more stirring, and every 
era of our history to be full of patriotic devotion and heroic en- 
deavor. Looking back from our standpoint of the years, we shall 
see plain men of many nationalities working on, all unconsciously 
laying the foundation of a new empire ; yet, under the guidance of 
a Hand reached down from above, building wiser than they knew, 
and establishing a home for liberty — civil and religious — its first in 
the wide world. 

America was discovered just at the close of the fifteenth century. 
The sixteenth was spent in numerous explorations and attempts by 
the Spanish, the English, and the French to settle and get possession 
of this splendid prize of a continent. The seventeenth century was 
one of colonization. It witnessed the establishment of all the thir- 
teen colonies except Georgia. Religious and political refugees flocked 
to this fair land of promise. The advance guard of civilization 
planted its standard from the "River of May" on the south to the 
"Great River of Canada" on the north. The Cavalier found a home 
on the Potomac, the Puritan on Cape Cod, the Huguenot on the 
Cooper, and the Quaker on the Delaware. With a strange misap- 
prehension of the extent of the territory bestowed, and a curious 
jealousy of rival nations, all the English grants extended westward 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the French southward from the 
St. Lawrence to the Gulf, and the Spanish northward from the Gulf 
to the Arctic Ocean. Nearly three'-quarters of the eighteenth cen- 
tury was occupied in crystallizing the scattered settlements into colo- 


nies regularly organized and governed, and in the struggles of the 
English to get control of the continent. 

This preparatory work was the ante-natal growth of the republic 
which was born July 4, 1776. It is therefore treated in Chapters I 
to IV as a necessary prelude to the Hundred Years of American 

Chapters V to XI, embracing the Revolutionary War, begin the 
book proper. Here will be found a narrative of those years of wait- 
ing and sacrifice during which the nation achieved its independence. 

Chapters XII to XVI cover the Constitutional History of the 
country, embracing the formation of the Constitution and the grad- 
ual development of the nation down to i860. It has two great epi- 
sodes : the war of 1812-1814, which secured for the young Republic 
the respect of foreign nations; and the war with Mexico, which gave 
to it New Mexico and California, and let the tides of emigration 
pour into the El Dorado of the West. 

Chapters XVII to XXI treat of the Civil War, which resulted 
in the abolition of slavery and the centralization of the governing 

Chapters XXII to XXVI narrate the important events which 
have occurred since the close of the Civil War. 

In this history there is told, in convenient form, the story of our 
country from the prehistoric America of the Mound Builders to the 
Treaty with Panama, the preparations for the long-delayed Isthmian 
Canal, and to the opening of the second year of the Wilson ad- 

With the completion of the Panama Canal, and through it the 
ascendancy of a master mind in the person of Colonel Goethals, 
who, by the way, at the time of this publication, is becoming a figure 
in national affairs to be reckoned with ; with the tariff and cur- 
rency bills causing widespread discussion ; with the civil war in Mex- 
ico arousing the anxiety of the nations, and with the reform meth- 
ods, boldly and frankly undertaken by President Wilson and his 
cabinet of able men, the times are indeed lively and progressive be- 
yond measure. 

It is hoped that this up-to-date edition of Barnes Popular History 
of the United States will afford a convenient, accessible and easily 
read story of our country's evolution, and in these crowded and 
strenuous days supply a means of gaining the necessary information 
in a concise and interesting form, 


Part I — Introduction 
Chapter. Page. 

I. Early History of America 9 

II. Explorations and Settlements 27 

III. Colonial Wars 67 

IV. Colonial Life 84 

Part II — The liar of the Revolution 

I. Alienation of the Colonies 131 

II. Opening of the War 146 

III. Independence Year — 1776 166 

IV. Third Year of the Revolution — 1777 196 

V. Fourth Year of the Revolution — 1778 247 

VI. Fifth Year of the Revolution — 1779 270 

VII. Sixth Year o? the Revolution — 1780 283 

VIII. The Last Year of the Revolution — 1781 306 

Part III — The Constitutional Period 

IX. The Development of the Republic 325 

X. American Nationality Assured — 1800-1820 354 

XI. Internal Dissensions — 1820-1840 408 

XII. Culmination of Domestic Difficulties — 1840-1860 436 

Part IV — The Civil War 

XIII. First Year of the Civil War — 1861 481 

XIV. Second Year of the Civil War — 1862 495 

XV. Third Year of the Civil War — 1863 531 

XVI. Fourth Year of the Civil War — 1864 560 

XVII. Last Year of the Civil War — 1865 584 

Part V — The New Era 

XVIII. The Decade of Reconstruction 603 

XIX. The Centennial Decade— 1876-1886 621 

XX. Era of Reform — 1885-1900 645 

XXI. Roosevelt and Taft— 1901-1911 693 

XXII. Under Woodrow Wilson— 1912-1914 751 

i Frontispiece. Portrait, G force Washington. page 

2 Columbus in his Study, &c, &c. — Initial 9 

3 The Serpent Mound 10 

4 The Mounds near Little Rock, Ark 11 

5 Indian Symbols 13 

6 Specimen of Indian Picture-Writing 15 

7 Indian Life 17 

8 An Indian Family Moving 18 

g Norman Ship (from the Bayeux Tapestry) 20 

10 The Ancient Tower at Newport, R. 1 20 

11 Portrait, Columbus 21 

12 Behaim's Globe ( 1492) — Eastern Hemisphere. 22 

13 " " (1492) — Western Hemisphere 23 

14 Columbus Discovering Land 24 

15 A Spanish Caravel 24 

16 Columbus Taking Possession 25 

17 Tomb of Columbus at Havana 26 

18 Balboa — Initial 27 

19 De Soto's March 28 

20 Portrait, Jacques Cartier 28 

21 Map of Early American Discoveries 29 

22 Portrait, Admiral Coligny 29 

23 Old Gateway at St. Augustine, Florida •. 30 

24 Raleigh introduces Tobacco into England 32 

25 The Deserted Colony of Roanoke 33 

26 The Ruins at Jamestown „ 34 

27 Smith Explaining his Compass to the Indians 35 

28 Pocahontas 36 

29 Selling Wives to the Planters. 38 

30 Drummond brought before Berkeley 40 

31 Portrait, Lord Baltimore 42 

32 Signing the Compact in the Cabin of the Mayflower 43 

33 Plymouth Rock 44 

34 Welcome, Englishmen. — Plymouth, 1621 ......,.,,,.,.,.... 45 



35 Fac-simile of First Map Engraved in New England 47 

36 Roger Williams Received by Canonicus 48 

37 Portrait, King Philip 49 

38 goffe at hadley 50 

39 The Old Witch House, Salem 52 

40 The Charter Oak 54 

41 The Hai.f-Moon in the Hudson 55 

42 Portrait, Governor Stuyvesant 57 

43 The English Landing at New York, 1664 56 

44 Th^ Tomb of Peter Stuyvesant 59 

45 Seals of New Amsterdam and New York 60 

46 Statue of Penn in Philadelphia 61 

47 Huguenots going to Church 64 

48 Portrait, General Oglethorpe, aged 102 65 

49 Penn's Treaty Tree 66 

50 The Death Whoop— Initial 67 

51 Portrait, Samuel Champlain , 68 

52 Marquette Descending the Mississippi 69 

53 A Fortified House 70 

54 The Indian Attack on Schenectady 71 

55 Mrs. Dustin Disposing of her Captors 72 

56 Map of the French and Indian Wars (1689 to 1763) 73 

57 An Incident of Washington's Return 75 

58 Portrait, Benjamin Franklin 76 

59 Washington at Braddock's Defeat 77 

60 Portrait, General Wolfe. . . 80 

61 Quebec in Early Times 81 

62 The Grave of Braddock 83 

63 Clearing a Home in the Backwoods — Initial 84 

64 Pine-Tree Shilling 85 

65 The Old Stage-Coach 86 

66 Early Printing-Press 89 

67 A Scold Gagged 90 

68 The Stocks 90 

69 The First Church erected in Connecticut (1638) 91 

70 Whitefield's House, Guilford, Connecticut 95 

71 Training Day in the Olden Time 97 

72 A Wedding Journey 98 

73 Dutch Mansion and Cottage in New Amsterdam 102 

74 Dutch Courtship 106 

75 Ye Dutch Schoolmaster 108 

76 Early American Plow 114 

77 The Pillory 115 

78 The Old-Time Fireside 119 

79 Ancient Chair (brought over in the Mayflower) 125 

80 The Woolen Spinning- Wheel 126 

81 Field Sports of the South 130 

82 The Boston Tea-Party — Initial 133 

83 Portrait, William Pitt, Earl of Chatham 135 

84 Patrick Henry Addressing the Virginia Assembly 136 

85 Map of the Colonies 138 

Full-page Portrait, Benjamin Franklin , 139 



86 Faneuil Hall 140 

87 The Regulators Threatening Governor Tryon „ 142 

88 Carpenter's Hall 144 

89 England Forcing Tea down the Throat of America 145 

go The Light in the Steeple — Initial 146 

gi Paul Revere Spreading the Alarm 147 

g2 Map, Vicinity of Boston and Concord 148 

g3 Putnam Starting for Cambridge i4g 

g4 Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga 150 

g5 The Prayer before the 'Battle of Bunker Hill 152 

g6 Map of the Battle of Bunker Hill 153 

g7 The Bayonet Charge at Bunker Hill 154 

g8 The Old Magazine at Williamsburg, Va 158 

gg Specimen of Continental Money 161 

00 The Prescott Gate, Quebec 163 

01 A Street in Quebec — Scene of Arnold's Attack 165 

02 Evacuation of Boston — Initial 166 

03 Boston One Hundred Years Ago i6g 

04 The Attack on Fort Moultrie 171 

05 Liberty Bell 173 

06 Map of Battle of Long Island 178 

07 Prison-Ship at Wallabout i7g 

08 The Retreat from Long Island T.80 

og Map of the Lower Hudson 185 

10 A Hessian Grenadier 188 

11 Washington Crossing the Delaware 191 

12 Washington's Visit to General Rall ig4 

13 Portrait, Robert Morris ig5 

14 Franklin at the French Court — Initial ig6 

15 Death of General Mercer and Mercek Monument ig8 

16 Portraits, Pulaski, Kosciusko and Baron DeKalb 202 

17 Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga 205 

18 The Alarm at Fort Schuyler 2og 

ig Mrs. Schuyler Setting the Grain-Fields on Fire 212 

20 General Fraser Covered by Sharp-Shooters 217 

21 Map of the Upper Hudson 2ig 

22 Portrait, General Burgoyne 224 

23 " General Gates 225 

24 Map of Operations in New Jersey and. Pennsylvania 230 

25 The Paoli Monument 232 

26 Battle of Germantown — Attack on Chew's House 234 

27 Capture of General Prescott 237 

28 Execution of a Spy at Kingston, N. Y 240 

2g Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge 246 

30 Washington at Prayer — Initial 247 

31 In Camp at Valley Forge 251 

32 Portrait, Marquis de Lafayette 255 

33 Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette and the Dauphin 25g 

34 Medal Commemorating the Alliance between France and the United 

States 25g 

135 Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth 261 



36 Portrait, Joseph Brandt (after Catlin) 269 

37 " Red Jacket (after Weir) 270 

38 Map of Operations in Virginia and the Carolinas 272 

39 Giving the Countersign at Stony Point 275 

40 Capture of the Serapis by the Bon Homme Richard 281 

41 The Decatur Monument 282 

42 Patriots making Arms and Ammunition — Initial 283 

43 A Rendezvous of Marion and his Men 288 

44 Nancy Hart and the British Soldiers 292 

45 The Old Sugar House, Liberty Street, New York 208 

46 Capture of Major Andre 302 

47 The Monument at Tarrytown 305 

48 General Wayne Confronting the Rioters — Initial 306 

49 Mrs. Steele and General Greene 310 

50 The Partisan Leaders of the South 314 

51 Map of the Siege of Yorktown 320 

52 Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown 321 

53 Portrait, George the Third 324 

54 Washington's Inauguration at Federal Hall — Initial 327 

55 Washington's Headquarters at Newburg 330 

56 Map, Territorial Growth of the United States 332 

57 Washington and his Cabinet 335 

58 Daniel Boone's Exploring Expedition 340 

59 Mount Vernon 343 

60 Portrait, Napoleon Buonaparte 345 

61 Medal, Washington and Lafayette 353 

62 Portrait, Thomas Jefferson — Initial 354 

63 Jefferson going to his Inauguration 356 

64 Chief-Justice Marshall in the Library of Congress 359 

65 Duel between Hamilton and Burr 363 

66 The Clermont, Fulton's Steamboat 366 

67 Portrait, Elskwatawa, the Prophet 370 

68 Burning of the Richmond (Va.) Theatre 371 

69 Map of the War of 1812-14 (Northern Region) 374 

70 General Scott and the two Indians 376 

71 " Old Ironsides " 378 

72 Capture of the Frolic 379 

73 Sackett's Harbor in 1814 380 

74 Portrait, Captain James Lawrence 382 

75 Perry's Headquarters 384 

76 Perry leaving the Lawrence 385 

77 A Caricature of the Time — (Queen Charlotte and Johnny Bull got 

their Dose of Perry) 386 

78 Portrait, Oliver Hazard Perry 387 

79 Map, Southern Region of the War of 1812-14 388 

80 Weatherford in Jackson's Tent 389 

81 The Attack on Oswego 390 

82 Colonel Miller at Lundy's Lane 392 

83 The Ruins of Fort Erie — Buffalo in the Distance 393 

84 British Soldiers Burning Books in the Library of Congress 394 

85 The Battle of Nevt Orleans 397 



t86 Portrait, Emma Willard 402 

187 Chicago in 1820 405 

188 The Old Block-House, Chicago 407 

189 Portrait, John Quincy Adams — Initial 408 

190 Lafayette at the Tomb of Washington 411 

191 Monticello, the Home of Jefferson 415 

192 The First Railroad Train in the United States 416 

193 Portrait, Andrew Jackson 419 

Full-page Portrait, Daniel Websier 421 

194 Portraits, H ayne and Webster 422 

195 Henry Clay Addressing the Senate 425 

196 The United States Bank 426 

197 The Dade Monument at West Point, N. Y 430 

198 Portrait, William Henry Harrison 434 

igg Birthplace of Martin Van Buren .... 435 

200 Portrait, John Tyler 436 

201 The Tomb of Harrison 438 

202 View of Nauvoo City 441 

203 House in which the First Congress of Texas Met 444 

204 Santa anna Rebuked by Houston 446 

205 Capture of the Mexican Battery by Captain May... 450 

206 A Scene at Monterey 452 

207 Map Illustrating the Mexican War 454 

208 On the Summit of the Cordilleras 458 

209 Secretary Preston and the Boatswain 462 

210 Portrait, General Zachary Taylor 463 

211 Bird's-eye View of San Francisco 466 

212 Ashland, the Home of Henry Clay 470 

213 Scenes in Kansas 473 

214 Portrait, James Buchanan 475 

215 " Abraham Lincoln 479 

216 Fort Sumter 480 

Full-page Portrait, Abraham Lincoln 482 

217 Mass Meeting in Union Square, New York — Initial 483 

218 Lincoln's Early Home in Illinois 485 

219 Attack on Fort Sumter from Morris Island 487 

220 "Stonewall" Jackson at the Head of his Brigade 491 

221 Intercepting the Trent 494 

222 Group of Union Volunteers — Initial. 495 

223 Surrender of Fort Donelson 498 

224 The Midnight Council of War 499 

225 Donaldson's Point and Island No. 10 503 

226 Map of Operations in the East 505 

227 Heroism of Colonel Rogers 507 

228 Bird's-eye View of New Orleans 510 

229 Naval Duel between the Monitor and the Merrimac 514 

230 Map of the Peninsula 516 

231 Building a Corduroy Road through a Swamp 517 

232 Portrait, General George B. McClellan 520 

233 General Robert E. Lee 522 

234 Death of General Kearney 525 

235 Storming the Bridge at Antietam. 527 

"i* Tur Mo v :tor at c fa , r^ n 


237 Reading the Emancipation Proclamation — Initial 531 

238 Running the Batteries at Vicksburg 532 

239 Map of Vicksburg and Vicinity 534 

240 Map of Chattanooga and Vicinity 536 

241 A Charge at Missionary Ridge 538 

242 Lee and Jackson Planning the Battle of Chancellorsville 542 

243 Stonewall Jackson in his Tent 545 

244 Portrait, Major-General George G. Meade 548 

245 Map of Gettysburg and Vicinity 549 

246 Repulsing a Charge at Gettysburg 551 

247 Drafting 556 

248 The National Monument at Gettysburg 559 

249 An Impromptu Fortification — Initial 560 

250 Map of Operations in the West 563 

251 The March to the Sea 565 

252 Crossing the Rapidan— Grant's Telegram 5 68 

253 Map of Grant's Campaign around Richmond 569 

254 Portrait, General Ulysses S. Grant 573 

255 Sheridan's Arrival at Cedar Creek 57& 

256 Naval Battle in Mobile Bay 579 

257 The Alabama 582 

258 Portraits, Sherman and Sheridan 583 

259 Refugees Following the Army — Initial 584 

260 Sherman at the Head of his Troops 586 

261 Portrait, General Joseph E. Johnston 587 

262 City of Richmond 589 

263 Cavalry Charge on the Confederate Wagon-Train 59 1 

264 Signing the Terms of Surrender 593 

265 Portrait, Jefferson Davis 594 

266 Assassination of President Lincoln 59^ 

267 A Scene at the Surrender of Lee 600 

268 Reconciliation— Initial 603 . 

269 The Grand Review— Marching down Pennsylvania Avenue 605 

270 Portrait, Andrew Johnson 607 

271 The Great Eastern in Mid-Ocean Laying the Cable 610 

272 General Grant's Residence at Galena, III., in i860 612 

273 Driving the Last Spike 613 

274 Portrait, Horace Greeley 617 

275 Centennial Medal — Reverse 620 

276 Group of Sioux Indians 623 

277 Portrait of Rutherford B. Hayes 624 

278 The Bland Silver Dollar 627 

279 The White House 62 9 

281 Portraits of Garfield and Arthur 631 

282 Assassination of President Garfie'.d 633 

283 Garfield Looking out upon the Sea at Long Branch 634 

284 Centennial of Battle of Yorktown - 635 

285 Arctic Sledging 638 

286 Grover Cleveland 642 

287 Grant's Birthplace, Tomb, Etc 643 

288 Benjamin Harrison C5 ° 

2S9 James G. Blaine 657 

290 William McKinley G(37 

291 Battle of Manila Bay— Map 67< J 



292 Treaty Commissioners 686 

293 Theodore Roosevelt 692 

294 The Panama Canal— Map 699 

295 William H. Taft 725 

296 Peary's Ship, "The Roosevelt," at Cape Sheridan 730 

297 Monoplane on the Ground — Biplane in flight 735 

298 The Peace Palace at The Hague 750 

299 Woodrow Wilson 752 

300 Panoramic View of the Panama Canal 755 

301 Col. George Washington Goethals 761 

302 Raising the Flag Over Vera Cruz 763 

303 General Frederic Funston 764 

304 U. S. Army Entering Vera Cruz 765 

305 U. S. Battle Fleet in Vera Cruz Harbor 766 

306 The New York Public Library 772 

307 The Grand Central Terminal 773 




-t ;^?se r - 


HE authentic history of North 
America is comprised within 
four centuries. All back of that 
rests upon ruins and traditions, 
and is largely mythical. The 
Indians were noc the most 
ancient inhabitants of North 
America. Through the whole 
length of the Mississippi Valley 
are found the remains of a 
numerous and civilized people 
which once occupied this coun- 
try. This race is known as the 
Mound Builders, from the large 
number of mounds which they 
erected, seemingly as monu- 
ments to distinguished dead, or 



as grand altars for religious purposes. Sixteen miles east of 
Little Rock, Arkansas, are two of these elevations, the larger of 
which is over two hundred and fifty feet in height. Its summit 
is crowned with a magnificent elm which has stood four hun- 
dred years. Near by is a sheet of water known as Mound Lake, 
three and a half miles long and a quarter of a mile broad, the 
result evidently of excavation for the mound material. The 
two mounds are encircled by a ditch which encloses an area 
of over ninety acres. Elsewhere are seen extensive earthworks 
constructed with considerable skill. They crown a steep bluff, 
or are carried across the neck of a peninsula formed by the 
bend of a river. If there is no access to springs or streams, they 
contain artificial reservoirs for holding water. Fort Hill, on the 
Little Miami River, Ohio, consists of an embankment nearly 
four miles in extent, and from ten to twenty feet high, varying 

according to the natural advantages of 
the ground. In Adams county, Ohio, 
is a curious earthwork, representing 
an immense serpent, one thousand feet 
long, holding in its mouth an egg- 
shaped mound one hundred and sixty feet 
in length, and having its tail twined 
into a triple coil. These mounds rarely 
contain more than one skeleton. Many 
tools and ornaments of copper, brass, 
silver, and precious stones, such as 
knives, axes, chisels, bracelets, and beads 
have been found ; as also cloth and 
thread and vases of potteiv. Near 
Nashville, in Tennessee, an idol made of clay and gypsum was ex- 
humed. Roman and Persian coins have been discovered ; and in 
Western New York a silver piece, with the date a.d. 600, found 
far below the surface, furnishes a theme for many a speculation. 
The Mound Builders worked the copper mines about Lake 
Superior, and their old pits are now familiarly known in that 
region as the "ancient diggings." In one of these mines near. 
Eagle Harbor, a mass of copper was found which weighed forty- 
six tons. The block had been separated from the original vein 
and the surface pounded smooth. About it lay stone hammers, 
copper chisels and wedges in abundance, as if the workmen had 
but just departed. Upon these mounds and mines the largest 




forest trees are now growing. On one mound near Marietta, 
Ohio, there are trees which must have seen at least eight cen- 
turies. The age of the mounds themselves is a matter of conjee 
ture alone. 

" A race that long has passed away 
Built them : a disciplined and populous race 
Heaped with long toil the earth, while yet the Greek 
Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms 
Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock 
The glittering Parthenon." — Bryant. 

When the Jesuit missionaries first came to America, thej 
found the Indians not only entirely ignorant of this people, but 
possessed of no tradition concerning them. Whence these un- 
known races came to our shores we know not. It is natural 



to suppose, however, that their home was Asia— the birthplace 
of man. Within the past century fifteen Japanese vessels have, it 
is said, been driven by storms across the Pacific Ocean, and 
wrecked on the American coast. Such events may have hap- 
pened anciently, and the shipwrecked crews may have settled the 
new country. Formerly, too, as geologists tell us, before 
Behring Strait was cut through, the two continents were con- 
nected. Parties of adventurers may then have crossed, and 
finding a pleasant land on this side, may have decided to make it 
their home. All is conjecture, however, and we know not when 
nor whence the Mound Builders came, nor when nor whither 
they went. 


Most curious of all the remains found on this continent are 
those of Arizona. Here are not only Spanish cathedrals dating 
back of the Revolutionary struggle, and ruins of Spanish towns 
indicating an early and extensive colonization, now disappeared, 
which must have been in its glory when as yet only a few woe- 
begone English set dors half starved in their rude cabins along 
the Potomac River and Plymouth Bay ; but recent explorations 
have revealed other and prehistoric remains, belonging to a race 
which has left behind no traditi >n even of its name or origin. 
The Gila Valley alone, it is estimated, must once have been occu- 
pied by one hundred thousand inhabitants. In the great Tonto 
Basin, bounded by the rivers Gila, Verde and Dlack Mesa, and the 
White Mountains, nearly every hill within a range often thousand 
square miles is covered with broken pottery, so perfectly glazed 
that its bright coloring is still preserved. Here are ruins of 
pueblos four stories high, and with walh two feet thick ; aqueducts, 
reservoirs, irrigating canals, and regular fortifications. Along the 
cliffs in many places are multitudes of caves dug into the solid 
rock, where the inhabitants seem to have taken refuge and made a 
iast stand against an invading foe. These caves arc often twenty 
tjet deep, and closed by mason work of stone and cement still 
well preserved. These retreats are only accessible by means of 
ladders, or by narrow paths along the edge of projecting crags, 
where a single fab e step would plunge one to inevitable destruc- 
tion. In the larger caves, the front wall is bastioned and loop- 
lioled ; while in the ceiling of the principal room is a man-hole 
enabling one to enter a scries of chambers with which the whole 
mountain is honeycombed. In the thick deposit of bat-lime 
which now covers the floor, arc broken pieces of pottery like 
those found so abundantly in the ruined villages along the river 
, aulevs. The timbers used in the various rooms were evidently 
cut with -tone hatchets. The chambers arc dark and the walls 
are vet black with the smoke from the fires of the ancient cave- 

On; can but speculate on the fearful struggle which appar- 
ently forced this people to leave their fortified villages and 
cultivated fields, and to hew for themselves asylums in the rock; 
the long months and years during which they continued the con- 
test in their mountain fortresses; the details of this final death- 
struggl ■ ; and when and how the last of this host yielded, and 
th^ n .lien was blott2d out of existence. 



The first inhabitants of whom we have any definite knowledge 
are the Indians — so named because the earliest European explorers 
of this country supposed they had reached the eastern coast of 
India. The total number of these aborigines, at that time within 
the present limits of the United States, was probably four hundred 
thousand, of whom about one-half lived east of the t Mississippi. 
They all had much the same look, and doubtless a common origin. 
They were, however, divided into numerous tribes and sp£>ke 
different languages. Diligent study of these tongues has classed 
them all into, perhaps, seven great families — the Algonquin, the 
Iroquois, the Mobilian, the Dakotah or Sioux, the Cherokee, the 
Catawba, and the Shoshonee. These are the names by which 
they are commonly known to us, but not, in general, those used 
among the natives. The terms Huron, Iroquois, etc., are only 
nick-names given by the whites ; Sioux is an Algonquin appella- 
tion. The various tribes were divided into clans, each with its 
own symbol, as a tortoise, deer, snipe, or hawk, often tattooed on 
the warrior's breast. Over the clan was a chief or sachem, who 
represented it at the grand councils and governed it according 
to custom and tradition. 


The Algonquins dwelt along the Atlantic coast from Cape 
Fear northward, and were those with whom the Jamestown and 
Plymouth colonists alike came in contact. The Narragansetts, 
Pequods, Massachusetts, Mohegans, Manhattans, Delawares, 
Powhatans, Shawnees, Miamis, Illinois, Sacs, and Foxes, were 
tribes of this wide-spread family. Their memory is perpetuated 
by the histories of Pocahontas, Powhatan, Massasoit, King 
Philip, Black Hawk, Tecumseh, and Pontiac. 

The Iroquois occupied a territory in the heart of the Algon- 
quin region — a tract south of Lake Ontario, covering the head- 
waters of the Susquehanna, Delaware, and Ohio, which General 


Scott well termed the " strategic centre " of the United States. 
Here wns the home of the Five Nations, so famous in all the colonial 
wars. Here Red Jacket and Joseph Brandt figured as characters 
more like ancient Romans than wild forest Indians. In the time 
of their greatest prosperity this confederacy did not number over 
fifteen thousand, and it could not send out much over two thou- 
sand warriors. But they were fierce, bloodthirsty, and restless 
for conquest. Pushing along the valleys from their headquarters 
on the great watershed of Central New York, they carried their 
triumphant arms to the soil of Kentucky and Virginia. Their 
powei- was felt to the Kennebec on the east and the Illinois on the 
west. The Delaware tribe was triumphantly and ignominiously 
styled their " woman." Of the five nations, the Mohawk was the 
most dreaded. When, among the peaceful Indians along the 
Connecticut, a messenger stalked into their council-room exclaim- 
ing, " The Mohawks are come to suck your blood," there was no 
thought of safety except in flight or submission. 

The Mobilians stretched along the Gulf from the Atlantic to 
the Rio Grande. They comprised within their limits the com- 
paratively insignificant tribes of the Uchee and the Natchez. The 
Creeks, Seminoles, Choctaws, and the Chickasaws are interwoven 
with the later history of the country at the south, as the Sioux, 
Miamis, Illinois, Sacs, etc., are on the north. 

The separate languages were completely organized, though no 
savage had ever attempted their analysis, or knew anything 
about sounds, letters, or syllables. The study of their speech 
by Europeans has shown many peculiarities. Thus the Algon- 
quins had no f ; the Choctaws no d ; the Iroquois, except the 
Oneidas, whose tongue was soft and liquid, no /. The Algonquins 
loved consonants, while every word in the Cherokee ended in a 
vowel. They all lacked abstract or general terms. The Algon- 
quins, for example, had no word for oak, but a name for each kind 
of oak. There was no word for fishing, but a specific name for t 
fire-fishing, net-fishing, etc. They always compounded words so 
as to express new ideas. Thus, as the Indian never kneels, when 
Eliot, the famous New England missionary, wished to translate 
that thought, he was forced to use a definition merely, and the 
compound word is eleven syllables long — wutappessittukqus- 
sonnoowehtunkquot. The Indians never said " father " alone, but 
always included with it a possessive pronoun. Consequently the 
Doxology used by Christian Indians reads, " Our Father, his Son, 



and their Holy Ghost." Their tongues were thus peculiarly syn- 
thetic, and often subject, predicate, and object were conjugated 
as one word. The Cherokee language had but eighty-five sylla- 
bles, which were analyzed by an educated Indian known as George 
Guess, who assigned a character to each. Thus one may learn to 
read and write this tongue in a very short time. The Indians 
had no written language, though they used on occasions a species 
of hieroglyphics or picture-writing. A series of rude symbols 
scratched on a tree or rock gave any information desired. 
Schoolcraft gives the following, used by his Indian guides to 
inform their comrades that a company of fourteen whites and 
two Indians had spent the night at that point. Nos. 9, 10 indi- 
cate the white soldiers and their arms ; No. 1 is the captain, with 
a sword ; No. 2 the secretary, with the book ; No. 3 the geolo- 
gist, with a hammer ; Nos. 7, 8 are the guides, without hats ; Nos. 
11, 12 show what they ate in camp ; Nos. 13, 14, 15 indicate how 
many fires they made : 



The Indian was a barbarian. His condition was that known 
in geology as the Stone Age of man, since his implements and 
tools were made of that material. His stone hatchet was so rude 
that to cut down a large forest tree would have required a month's 
time. He had no horse, cow, or other domestic animal of burden. 
He had no knowledge of any metals except gold, silver, and 
copper, and these to a very limited extent. Labor he considered 
as degrading, and fit only for women. His squaw, therefore, 
built his wigwam, cut his wood, and carried his burdens when he 


journeyed. While he hunted or fished, she cleared the land for 
his corn by burning down the trees, scratched the ground with a 
crooked stick or hoed it with a clam-shell, and dressed skins for 
his clothing. She cooked his food by dropping hot stones into a 
tight willow basket containing materials for soup. The leavings 
of her lord's feast sufficed for her, and the coldest place in the 
wigwam was her seat. He rarely spoke to his wife or children. 
He would sit on the ground for days, leaning his elbows on his 
knees in stupid silence. He was crafty and cruel. His word was 
no protection. False and cunning, he never hesitated to violate a 
treaty when his passions prompted him to hatred. He was hos- 
pitable, and the door of his wigwam was always open to any 
comer, who had but to enter, sit down at the fire, and to be 
served without a word. He would give up his own mat or skin 
that his guest or a passing traveler might rest thereon. He 
remembered a benefit and often saved his benefactor at the peril 
of his life. He loved to gain his end by stratagem and rarely 
met an enemy in fair fight. No victory was prized when the 
conquest cost the life of a warrior. He could endure great 
fatigue, and in his expeditions often lay without shelter in severest 
weather. It was his glory to bear the most horrible tortures 
without sign of pain. 

An Indian wigwam at the best was only a temporary shelter. 
It was built of bark resting on poles, and had an opening at the 
top to let out the smoke and let in the light. The fire was built 
on the ground at the centre. The lodge was moved from place 
to place whenever fancy suggested. The most frequent reason 
was the scarcity of game or fuel. Indeed, it is said that when the 
whites first came to this country the Indians supposed it to be 
because they had consumed all the wood in their own land, and 
that they were in quest of fuel. The Iroquois built larger and 
more permanent dwellings. These were often thirty or forty and 
sometimes over two hundred feet in length, each inhabited by 
several families. Many of these were irregularly gathered in a 
town, on the bank of some river or lake, where they were fortified, 
perhaps, by a palisade and deep ditch. " A person entering one 
of these wigwams on a winter's evening might have beheld," says 
Parkman, " a strange spectacle ; the vista of fires lighting the smoky 
concave ; the bronzed groups encircling each — cooking, eating, 
gambling, or amusing themselves with idle badinage ; wrinkled 
squaws, hideous with three-score years of hardship ; grizzly old 



warriors, scarred with war-club and tomahawk ; young aspirants, 
whose honors were yet to be won ; damsels, gay with ochre and 
wampum ; and restless children, pell-mell with restless dogs. 
Now a tongue of resinous flame painted each wild feature in vivid 
light ; now the fitful gleam expired, and the group vanished from 
sight as the nation has from history." 


The Indians married young, the girls at thirteen or fourteen, 
and the boys by eighteen. Meanwhile the latter were required 
to show their manhood by long endurance of famine and by 
bringing in plenty of game. A marriageable girl wore an adver- 
tisement of the fact upon her head. The marriage ceremony 
often consisted of nothing more than the bride's bringing to the 
bridegroom a dish of cooked corn and an armful of fuel. 

War and the chase were the natural state of the Indian. The 
battle-field and the hunting-ground contained everything of 
special honor or value. The, bow was placed in the boy's hands 
as soon as he could grasp it. His training henceforth was to 
shoot the arrow, to glide upon the snow-shoe, to hurl the toma- 
hawk, and to cast the spear. To dance the war-dance, to sing the 
war-song, to go forth on the war-path, to lie in wait for his 
enemy, and to bring back the scalp of one whom he had slain, were 


his highest delight. Two or three warriors roaming through 
the forest, with only a bag of pounded corn hanging at the side 
for food, would watch a hostile village or party for weeks, hiding 
in rocks or thickets, awaiting a chance for a surprise, to assassi- 
nate a defenceless man, woman, or child ; then hastily cutting off 
the scalp, as proof of their prowess, would hurry home again in 
triumph. The war party marched in single file, the chief in 
advance, while the last one erased the tracks they had made. A 
captive was often brutally mangled before reaching the village of 

;%Wi:^k J^h 

V S 

m> M 


his captors. Here he was obliged to run the gauntlet between a 
double row of its entire population, who turned out to receive 
him, each inflicting a blow as he passed. The council decided 
his fate. He might be adopted into some family, to supply the 
place of a lost member, or be sentenced to the torture. This was 
too horrible for description. The body was gashed with knives, 
the hair and beard were torn out, the fingers and toes were 
wrenched off, the flesh was seared with red-hot stones and punc- 
tured with sharpened sticks ; and finally the bleeding, mangled 
body was tied to a stake and burned to ashes. W hile life lasted 
the victim of their cruelty uttered no groan, but sang the war- 
song of his clan, boasted of his exploits, told the names of those 
whom he had slain, and taunted them with their unskilfulness in 
.devising tortures in comparison with those which he had himselt 
inflicted on their kinsmen, 


The religion cf the Indian varied greatly in different tribes. 
Those of New England had no word for God, and there is no 
evidence of a religious ceremony among them. The Iroquois 
hid faith in a Great Spirit, and in happy hunting-grounds where 
the departed warrior might hope to hunt and feast and be as lazy 
as he pleased. The Natchez had temples for the worship of the 
sun, and sacred fires which were never allowed to expire. The 
Indians believed in protecting spirits, who cared not alone for 
human beings but even for animals. They were cautious about 
giving them any offence, frequently offering them gifts to pro- 
pitiate their favor. They handled carefully the bones of beaver, 
buffalo, deer, and other game, lest the spirits of the dead might 
inform those of the living, and teach them to escape the hunter's 
toils. They would often talk to animals as if they were human 
beings, and beg their pardon for having wounded them, explain- 
ing the necessity which compelled the attack, and exhorting the 
sufferer to endure the pain so as not to bring disgrace on his 
family. The Indian invoked the aid of these various powers, 
whose presence he acknowledged in nature, and implicitly relied 
on their protection. He was anxious to have such a guardian for 
himself. The young Chippewa, for example, retired to a solitary 
lodge in the forest, blackened his face, and fasted for days, that he 
might become pure and exalted enough to behold in a vision his 
protecting deity. Everywhere there was an idea of sin which 
was to be atoned for, of the duty of self-denial and sacrifice, and 
of rewards and punishments for good and evil. So prevalent was 
this sentiment that Le Clercq thought one of the apostles must 
have reached America and taught the Indians the sublime 
truths of Revelation. 


As early as the tenth century, the Northmen settled Green- 
land, whence, according to the Icelandic Sagas, their venture- 
some sailors pushed westward, discovering Newfoundland, Nova 
Scotia, and Vinland or Vineland, which is generally supposed to 
be the coast of New England. After that, other adventurers 
repeatedly visited the New World, explored the country, and 
bartered with the natives. A rich Icelander, named Thorfinn 





Karlsemi, spent three winters on the coast of Massachusetts, 
where his wife bore him a son named Snorre, said to be the 

first child born of Euro- 
pean parents in this coun- 
try. The Northmen, how- 
ever, finally forgot the 
way across the ocean, 
and almost the existence 
of the Vinland their an- 
cestors had discovered. 
They left behind them, 
so far as we know, not a 
trace of their occupation, 
and were it not for their 
legends, we should not 
have dreamed that they 
ever visited our shores. 
The old stone tower at 
Newport, Rhode Island, 
long thought to have been erected by the Norsemen, is very like 
some which are still standing in the part of England from which 
Governor Arnold came ; while the singular inscription on the 
rock at Dighton was quite probably made by the Indians. 

Centuries passed in which no vessel essayed the forgotten 
assage across the far-stretching Atlantic. The shadows of the 
Middle Ages were dispersed, and Europe 
was kindling with newly awakened life. 
The Crusades had developed the mari- 
time importance of such Italian cities as 
Genoa, Pisa, and Venice. A taste for 
luxury had grown and strengthened. 
The art of printing by movable types 
had just been invented, and books of 
travel were eagerly read. Marco Polo 
and other eastern travelers had told the 
most marvelous stories of Asiatic coun- 
tries, of " Cathay" (China) and the good- 
liest island of " Cipango " (Japan), where 
the soil sparkled with rubies and diamonds, and pearls were as 
plentiful as pebbles. An extensive trade had been opened up with 
the East. The shawls, spices, precious stones, and silks of India 



and Persia were brought to Europe, and sold in the Western marts. 
But the route was tedious. The goods were borne by caravans 
to the Red Sea, carried by camels to the Nile, and thence shipped 
across the Mediterranean to Italy. The problem of the age was 
how to reach the East by sea, and thus transport these rich pro- 
ducts in ships directly to Europe. The earth was generally be- 
lieved to be a great flat plain, washed on every side by one vast 
ocean. A few wise geographers had already conceived the novel 
idea of its rotundity. But, in their calculations the globe was 
very much smaller than we now know it to be, and Asia extended 
much further to the east ; so, by sailing westward from Europe 
they expected, perhaps by a short voyage, to reach the eastern 
shore of their own continent, which was to them the only one in 
the world. " It is singular," says Washington Irving, " how much 
the success of this great undertaking depended upon two happy 
errors, the imaginary extent of Asia to 
the East, and the supposed smallness 
of the earth ; both, errors of the most 
learned and profound philosophers, 
but without which Columbus would 
hardly have ventured upon his en- 
terprise." Christopher Columbus, a 
learned navigator of Genoa, enthusi- 
astically adopted these views. Many 
events conspired to confirm his belief. 
A globe, published by Martin Behaim, 
one of Columbus's friends, in 1492 — the 
very year Columbus made his west- 
ward voyage — shows very clearly the current idea at that time. 
It is curious to notice how in this map the dry details of geography 
are enlivened by mermaids with golden tresses and azure eyes, 
sea-serpents, and various monsters supposed to inhabit these un- 
known regions. 

A westerly gale washed on the coast of Portugal a piece of 
curiously carved wood. At the Madeiras, canes of a tropical 
growth were picked up on the beach, and once the bodies of two 
men of an unknown race were cast upon the shore. At last, 
Columbus determined to test the new theory by actually under- 
taking the perilous voyage. Eighteen years of weary waiting 
followed. He sought aid in Genoa, Venice, and Portugal ; but in 
vain. Finally, after innumerable repulses, he obtained an audience 





y l_M 1^Jm~-?— 4~l?rSP*5ps Cancrl ,•••( Tropic^if 

^ >%> 

Tropic U^°L— ^-—r-r „ ^-""^ M&V \' 

.c-7 ****? Ir,!^' 

(Indian ^ j teg^*" (Equator) ^ 
Ocean) "V^-"" 

■^ -^ Eq umoctiuiff Prient <^> 


Oceanug I D( j; 



- C\i$j<^\d entalis 


V s £ 

|( TropicV>of XtlcEfehij- 






the eastern hemisphere.— From Behatm's Glebe, 1492. 

with Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. His demands seeming 
extravagant, he was refused. He left the court, and was already 
two leagues away, when Isabella, convinced of the grandeur of 
his scheme, called him back and pledged her own jewels to raise 
the necessary funds. This sacrifice, however, was not needed, as 
the court treasurer advanced money for the outfit. Three ships 
were equipped — the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina. The 
first only was decked, the other two being merely open boats, or 
caravels. The sailors were many of them impressed, the bravest 
seamen shrinking from this hazardous undertaking. Columbus 
sailed from Palos, August 3, 1492. Touching only at the Cana- 
ries, he struck out boldly to the west. 

Forty days had come and gone. Fresh terrors were born in 
the hearts of his fearful crew. All the laws of nature seemed 




THE western hemisphere.— From Bekaim's Globe, 1492. 

changing. The needle no longer pointed to the star in the north, 
and they were alone, without a guide, in the vast, trackless ocean. 
The trade-winds blew them steadily westward, and there was no 
hope of returning against it. They came into the Sargasso Sea, 
and now they should certainly perish in the stagnant waters. 
At times, signs of land appeared, and their hearts revived as they 
saw in the distant horizon the semblance of a shore. But it was 
only the clouds which mocked their hopes, and which faded away, 
leaving them still on a boundless sea. Still the days came and 
went, and still their prows, westward bent, pointed only to 

" Long ridgy waves their white manes rearing, 
And in the broad gleam disappearing ; 
The broadened, blazing sun declining, 
And western waves, like fire-floods, shining." 






At last they became turbu- 
lent and clamorous. They 
exclaimed against Colum- 
bus as a wild fanatic. They 
thought of their far-away 
homes, and demanded a 
return from this hopeless 

voyage. They even resolved to throw the admiral overboard if 

he persisted in a refusal. But his iron will beat down their feebler 

purposes, and he sternly reminded 

them that the expedition had been 

sent out to seek the Indies, and 

added that, happen what might, by 

God's blessing, he should persevere 

until he accomplished the enterprise. 
The very next day brought new 

hope. Fresh -water weeds floated 

past their ships; a branch of thorn 

with berries on it ; and, above all, a 

carved staff, which they eagerly ex- 
amined. Not only land, but inhab- 
ited land was before them. In the 

evening, Columbus, standing on the 

prow of his vessel, saw a light faintly 

glimmering in the horizon. At two 

in the morning, a Shot from the (From a drawing attributed to Columbus., 




Pinta announced the joyful intelligence that land was in sight 
The dream of Columbus was realized at last. On that mem- 
orable Friday morning, October 12, 1492, a shore, green with 
tropical verdure, lay smiling before him. The perfume of flowers 
filled the air, and beautiful birds hovered round singing, as it were, 
" the songs of the angels." Clad in scarlet, and bearing in his 
hand the royal banner of Spain, he stepped upon the land, kissing 
it in an overflow of joy and gratitude. Thanking God for His 
goodness, and planting the sacred cross, he took formal posses- 
sion of the country in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella. He 
called the island San Salvador. Believing that he had reached 


the islands lying off the eastern coast of India, he named them 
the West Indies, and the simple natives who flocked down to 
the shore to witness his arrival he called Indians. Afterward 
Columbus visited Cuba and Hayti. He actually sent an envoy 
to a chief in the interior of Cuba, supposing him to be the king 
of Tartary. Hayti he thought to be the Ophir of Solomon. 

On his return to Spain, Columbus was received with the great- 
est enthusiasm. He was accorded the rare honor of telling his 
story seated in the presence of the king and queen. When he 
dilated upon the plants, birds, gold, and, above all, the natives who 
might yet be converted to the true faith, the two sovereigns fell 
upon their knees, while the choir sang a hymn of thanksgiving. 





Columbus afterward made three other voyages of discovery. 
In 1498 he reached the mouth of the Orinoco, which he con- 
sidered the great river Gihon, having 
its source in the Garden of Eden. His 
good fortune, however, had long since 
deserted him. Malice and envy did 
their worst. He was sent home from 
Hispaniola in chains, and died at last 
a worn-out, disgraced old man, igno- 
rant of the fact that he had discovered 
a New World. 

Meanwhile, to other European eyes 
than those of Columbus had been grant- 
ed the first sight of the mainland. John 
Cabot, a Venetian, sailing under a com- 
mission from Henry VII. of England, 
discovered Cape Breton, probably in 
1494. He, however, like Columbus, 
was seeking the route to the Indies, and supposed this to be the 
territory of the " Great Cham," king of Tartary. Sebastian Cabot 
continued his father's explorations, and sailed along the coast as 
far south as Maryland. He became convinced that it was not the 
eastern coast of Asia, but a new continent, that had been discov- 
ered. As Vasco de Gama, a Portuguese, about this time (1498) 
rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and found the long-sought way 
to the East, little attention was paid to the discoveries of Cabot. 
" He gave a continent to England," says Biddle, " yet no man can 
point to the few feet of earth she has allowed him in return." 
The New World was not destined to receive its name from either 
Cabot or Columbus. Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian navigator, 
and a friend of Columbus, accompanied an expedition which 
reached the continent, and on his return wrote some letters de- 
scribing his discoveries. These were published by a German 
geographer, who proposed that the new country should be called 
America, in honor of his hero. People liked the name, and it 
soon came into general use. 



T^ ADVENTURERS, thirsting for gold and glory, 
t£V now flocked to America — the land of wonder 
and mystery. Spanish, French, and English 
were eager to explore this new and richer 
Cathay. Ponce de Leon, an aged cava- 
lier, sailed in search of a miraculous foun- 
tain said to exist somewhere in the regions 
discovered by Columbus, whose magical 
waters, flowing over beds of gold and 
gems, would ensure to the old a second 
youth and vigor. He did not find the fountain, but he came 
in sight of a land blooming with flowers. It was Easter Sun- 
day (15 12), a day which the Spaniards call Pascua Florida, or 
Flowery Easter. So he gave the name Florida to this beautiful 

The following year Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Darien, and 
from the top of the Andes first caught sight of the wide expanse 
of the Pacific Ocean glittering in the morning sun. Reverently 
kneeling, he thanked God for the wonderful vision. Descending 
to the shore, he waded into the water, bearing his drawn sword 
in one hand and the banner of Castile in the other, taking pos- 
session of the ocean, and all the coasts washed by its waters, for 
the crown of Spain. 

Cortez, with a handful of followers, took possession of Mexico 
and all the fabulous wealth of the Montezumas. Pizarro con- 
quered Peru, and revelled in the riches of the Incas. 

De Soto, with a chosen band, explored the fastnesses of 
Florida, hoping to find " a second Mexico with its royal palace 
and sacred pyramids, or another Cuzco with its Temple of the 
Sun enriched with a frieze of gold." Gay cavaliers with helmet 




and lance, priests with holy vestments and vessels, marched 
through the wilderness for years. With the fluttering of ban- 
ners and the clangor of trumpets, they followed the ignis fatuns 


of gold and treasure they hoped to find. Thus they traversed 
Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. In 1 541 they discovered the 
Mississippi River. Beneath its muddy waters De Soto himself 

found a grave. It was all the New 
World had to give its most knightly 

The French eagerly followed in 
the footsteps of the Spaniards. 
Verazzani, a Florentine in the ser- 
vice of Francis I., coasted along the 
shores of Carolina and New Jersey, 
and entered the present harbors 
of Newport and New York. He 
named the country New France, 
and claimed it all for his king. 
The report published on his re- 
turn was the earliest account given of the eastern coast of the 
He thought the savages were " like the people 


United States. 




in the uttermost parts of China," and that the country was " not 
void of drugs and spices and other riches of gold, seeing that the 
color of the land doth so much 
argue it." In 1534, Cartier dis- 
covered a magnificent river, 
which, the next year, he ascended 
to the present site of Montreal. In 
honor of the day, he named the 
part of the gulf he entered, St. 
Lawrence — a term that has since 
spread to the river and the rest 
of the gulf. 

Coligny, the famous French 
admiral, formed a plan of found- 
ing an empire in the New World 
which should offer an asylum to 
the distressed Huguenots. It was to be a colony based on 
religious ideas. This was half a century before the Piigrims 





landed at Plymouth. The attempt seemed full of promise, " but 
no Mayflower ever sailed from a French port." Jean Ribaut 
commanded the first expedition (1562). He landed at Port Royal. 
The company were delighted with the novelty of the wild forest 
scenes. The new land seemed to them " the finest, fruitfulest, and 
pleasantest of all the world." A fort was erected, and named 
Carolina, after Charles IX. of France. Thirty men were selected 
to remain, while Ribaut returned to France. This little party 
was now alone with the savage and the wilderness. They found 
no gold. Hunger came, and home-sickness. The green woods 
became a dismal prison, and the solitude a terror. They resolved 
to escape at every peril. Building a frail bark, they turned the 
prow toward France. A storm shattered their ship. At last, to 
avoid starvation, they killed and ate one of their own number, 
whom the lot decided should die for the rest. This horrible food 
only prolonged their lives for a new misfortune. After perils 
and sufferings untold, they had just come in sight of their own 
cherished coast when they were taken prisoners and carried to 

Two years afterward a second attempt was made by Laudon- 
niere,.and a fort built on St. John's River, or the River of May, as 
they styled it. Here his company of adventurers, greedy of gain 

and of gold, quar- 
reled among them- 
selves, fought with 
the Indians, and, 
too lazy to till the 
land, starved as 
easily and slowly 
as they could. 
But the Spanish 
were by no means 
willing to relin- 
quish their claim 
to Florida — as all 
North America 
was at that time 
called by them. 
Melendez, a brutal soldier, was sent by Philip II. to occupy Florida 
and drive out the French. They sighted land on St. Augustine's 
day (August 28, 1565). The foundations of a town, now the oldest 



in the United States, were soon laid and named in honor of that 
saint. Burning with zeal, Menendez, with five hundred soldiers, 
then hurried northward through the wilderness, and in the midst 
of a terrible tempest attacked the French fort and massacred 
nearly all the colonists. 

Charles IX. did nothing to avenge the deed. A bold Gascon, 
Dominique de Gourges, however, equipped a fleet at his own 
expense, sailed across the ocean, stormed the Spanish forts on 
the River of May, and put the garrison to the sword, under the 
very trees where they had slaughtered the captured Huguenots. 
Thus ended, for a time, the French attempts in the New World. 

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the English made 
repeated efforts to explore and colonize this country. Frobisher, 
seeking in vain to find the northwest passage to India, entered 
Baffin's Bay, and claimed the whole country for the crown of 
England. Drake, following in the footsteps of Magellan, rounded 
Cape Horn, ascended the western shore of America as far as 
the present boundary of Oregon, and, returning, refitted his 
ship in some harbor of California (1579). Sir Humphrey Gilbert 
sought to establish a colony in Newfoundland. Returning home 
in the Squirrel, a little bark of ten tons, it was overtaken by a 
fearful storm. Sitting aft, with a book in his hand, Gilbert was 
heard to cry out to his companions in the other ship, " We are 
as near Heaven by sea as by land." That night the lights of the 
Squirrel suddenly disappeared, and neither ship nor sailors were 
ever seen again. Gilbert's half-brother, the famous Sir Walter 
Raleigh, having secured a patent for a vast extent of territory 
which he called Virginia, in honor of the " Virgin Queen " of 
England, made several unsuccessful attempts to establish settle- 
ments therein. The first colony was planted on Roanoke Island 
(1585). Instead of tilling the ground, the settlers hunted for gold. 
Finding none, they were only too glad to return home with 
Drake, who happened to stop there on one of his buccaneering 
expeditions. They brought back with them the weed which the 
lethargic Indians used for smoking, and the custom of "drinking 
tobacco," as it was called, soon became exceedingly popular, in 
spite of the anathemas of the physicians, the Puritans, and even 
of King James himself, who wrote a tract against its use. It is 
said that one day, when Raleigh was sitting in his study privately 
practicing this new accomolishment, his servant entered with a 
tankard of ale. Seeing his master with a cloud of smoke issuing 




from his mouth, the terrified domestic dashed the ale in his face as 
a partial extinguisher, and rushed down the stairs screaming for 
instant help, for Sir Walter would soon be burnt to ashes. 

Another colony 


was now sent to 
Virginia. It hap- 
pily consisted of 
families. The pre- 
sence of woman 
brought cheerful- 
ness and beauty, 
and in the pros- 
pect of home cir- 
cles and influence 
it bade fair to be 
permanent. The 
" City of Raleigh " 
was founded on 
the site of the 
former settlement. 
A faithful Indian 
chief was here bap- 
tized and received the rank of a feudal 
baron — Lord of Roanoke. Here, also, 
was born the first child of English parents on 
the soil of the United States — Virginia Dare, grand-daughter of 
Governor White. The threatened invasion of the Armada occu- 
pying the attention of England, it was three years before supplies 
were sent out to the infant colony. When at last the 'ong-delayed 
ship sailed into the harbor she found it silent as the grave. 
The homes were all deserted, and not a living thing remained 
to tell the fate of their once hopeful occupants. On the 
trunk Of a tree was found carved the name of a distant island, 
Croatan. The lateness of the season forbade any attempt to seek 
the island, and, appalled by the desolation and ruin which they 
beheld, the fleet returned without leaving a settler behind. To 
this day the " Lost Colony of Roanoke " remains a mystery. 

A century had now passed since the discovery of America, but 
as yet neither English nor French had planted a permanent colony, 
save in the graves of their heroic adventurers. The Spaniards 
had, north of the Gulf of Mexico, only a feeble settlement at 




St. Augustine and another at 

Santa Fe. The difficulties 

which attended the passage 

of the Atlantic, the perils of 

the wilderness, the treachery 

6f the Indians, all conspired to prevent the rapid colonization of 

the New World. The experience of every attempt could be 

summed up in the quaint language of the English company under 

Captain Popham, " We found only extreme extremities." 

Early in the seventeenth century, several successful trading 
voyages called the attention of English merchants and noblemen 
to the question of American colonization. King James I. accord- 
ingly divided the vast territory called Virginia, extending from 
Cape Fear to Passamaquoddy Bay, between two rival companies, 
the London and the Plymouth. The former was to have the 
southern, and the latter the northern portion ; and, to prevent 
disputes, their settlements were to be at least one hundred miles 
apart. All the region south of this grant was known as Florida, 
and all north, as New France. A book of the time defines Vir- 
ginia as " that country of the earth which the ancients called 
Mormosa, between Florida and New France." 





On April 26, 1607, a fleet of three vessels sent out by the 
London Company entered Chesapeake Bay. Captain John 
Smith, afterward called " The Father of Virginia," was on board, 
but in chains, a victim to the jealousy of meaner men. As they 
rode into that magnificent harbor, they passed two headlands, 
which they called Charles and Henry, after their young princes 
at home. The good anchorage inside suggested the name Old 
Point Comfort, and the noble stream they now ascended was 
styled James River, after the king. Their first settlement was 

also loyally christened James- 
town. The crumbling, ivy- 
clad church tower still stand- 
ing on the banks of the James, 
about fifty miles from its mouth, 
marks the site of the oldest Eng- 
lish settlement in the United 
States. The colonists were 
poorly qualified for the work 
they had undertaken. There 
were no families, yet they were 
to establish homes in the wil- 
derness. There were houses 
to build, yet they numbered 
only four carpenters to forty- 
eight labor -despising gentle- 
men. They were to lay the 
foundations of a colony, yet they had but twelve laborers. The 
first year, the gentlemen spent their time in searching for gold, 
when they should have been planting corn. Food soon became 
scarce. Before autumn, sickness swept away half their number. 
Wingfield, the president of the council appointed by the king for 
their government, was unfaithful and avaricious, and even tried 
to escape to the Indies with the best of their scanty stores. 

Smith, by the power of his genius, now rose to command. 
" He proved more wakeful to gather provisions than the covet- 
ous were to find gold ; and strove to keep the country more than 
the faint-hearted to abandon it." He declared that " He who 
will not work may not eat." He was the first to clearly compre- 





hend that nothing was to be gained by the colony except through 
labor. He taught the gentlemen to swing the axe until they 
became accomplished wood-cutters. Enforcing morality as well 
as industry, he kept an account of all profanity, and at night 
poured a cup of cold water down the sleeves of the offenders. 
Yet the colonists, we are told, " built a church that cost fifty 
pounds and a tavern that cost five hundred." Smith wrote home: 
" I entreat you rather send but thirty carpenters, husbandmen, 
gardeners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers -up of 
trees' roots than a thousand such as we have." 


Meanwhile, Smith made many expeditions, cultivating the 
friendship of the Indians, exploring the country, and bringing 
back supplies of food for the colony. He went northward as far 
as Maine, and on one of his maps the names " Plymouth " and 
" Cape Ann " first appear. In an expedition up the Chesapeake, 
he was taken prisoner by the Indians. With great coolness he 
amused his captors by an astronomical lecture, exhibiting his 
compass, and showing them how " the sun did chase the night 
round about the world continually." They allowed him to send 
letters to Jamestown, and, having no idea of a written language 
themselves, were astonished at his making the paper talk to his 
friends of his condition. With commendable forethought, the gun- 
powder taken from him was carefully laid aside for planting the 






next year. The illustrious captive was carried from place to place 
over the same peninsula since rendered famous by McClellan's 
campaign. On being brought to the great chief Powhatan, his 
good fortune seemed to fail him, and he was condemned to die. 
According to Smith's account, his head was laid on a stone, and 
the Indian's war-club was raised to strike the final blow, when 
Pocahontas, the young daughter of the chief, whose love the cap- 
tive had won, rushed forward, threw her arms about his neck 
and arrested the descending blow. Powhatan, touched by this 
act of devotion, released the prisoner. 

The little Indian maiden often thereafter aided the colonists, 
bringing them food and warning them of danger. She grew 

up to be a beauti- 
ful woman and was 
converted to the 
Christian religion. 
In the little church 
at Jamestown she 
was baptized from 
the pine trough 
which was used as 
a font, and in her 
broken English plighted her faith to 
a young planter named John Rolfe. In 
1616 he took his dusky wife to England. 
Lady Rebecca, as she was called, " the 
^i first Christian ever of her nation," by her 
naive simplicity and goodness, won universal 
admiration. It is said, however, that King 
James was jealous of Rolfe, fearing that, " hav- 
ing married an Indian princess, he might lay claim to the crown 
of Virginia." So high did the tide of royalty run in those days 
that Rolfe came near being called to account for having pre- 
sumed, a private person, to marry into the royal family of even a 
petty Indian tribe. Owing to this same jealousy, Smith dared 
not allow Rebecca to call him father, as she had been accustomed 
to do. Just as she was preparing to return to her wilderness 
home, Lady Rebecca died, leaving, however, a son, from whom 
some of the most distinguished families of Virginia have been 
proud to boast their descent. 

Meanwhile, Smith was wounded and forced to return to 



England. He never received for all his services a foot of ground, 
not even the house he had built, nor the land he had cultivated. 
Deprived of his care, everything went to ruin. A winter of hor- 
rible famine — long remembered in their annals as the " Starving 
Time" — ensued. Thirty of their number seized a ship and 
turned pirates. In six months the colony was reduced from five 
hundred to sixty. These fled in despair from the terrible place — 
some even bent upon burning the town where they had suffered so 
fearfully. As, dropping down the river, they neared the open 
sea, they met their new governor, Lord Delaware, coming with 
supplies. A sudden revulsion of feeling followed. Overawed at 
the change in their condition, they returned to their deserted 
homes with a chastened joy. " It is the Lord of Hosts ! " said 
they ; " God will raise our state and build his church in this 
excellent clime." 

Now came better times. A new charter was obtained from 
the king. The council in London, which had heretofore stupidly 
tried to govern the colony, was abolished. The settlers obtained 
"a hande in governing of themselves." July 30, 1619, the first 
legislative body was assembled in America. It consisted of the 
governor, council, and the house of burgesses, or deputies from the 
different boroughs or plantations. Every freeman had the right 
to vote. A written constitution was granted, and the foundations 
of civil liberty were laid in Virginia. A hardier and better class 
of men began to flock to the New World. New settlements 
were established and plantations lined both banks of the James 
River as far as the present site of Richmond. 

Tobacco had proved a valuable article of export. It was 
cultivated so eagerly that at one time the gardens and even the 
public squares and streets of Jamestown were planted with it. 
The production of this staple greatly increased the demand for 
labor. At first "apprenticed servants" were sent over from 
England and bound out to the planters for a term of years ; being 
often men who had committed some crime or had rebelled 
against the government. In 1619, twenty negroes were brought 
by a Dutch ship and were quickly purchased by the planters. 
From this small beginning sprang the institution of slavery, which 
afterward became so important an element in the history of the 
United States. 

As yet, few of the feebler sex had dared to cross the At- 
lantic, but about this time the proprietors sent out a load of 




industrious, virtuous young women, who were sold as wives to the 
planters for one hundred pounds of tobacco per head. So great 
was the demand that, as the records quaintly tell us, " one widow " 

who was sent over 
in a subsequent lot 
went readily with 
the rest, and the 
price of the " faire 
maidens" ran up 
to a hundred and 
fifty pounds of 
the market weed. 
Domestic ties 
were now formed, 
homes established, 
and the perma- 
nence of the col- 
ony was insured. 

During the life 
of Powhatan, 
there was peace 
with the Indians, 
but after his death they resolved to exter- 
minate the colony (1622). Distributing 
themselves in small parties, they entered the 
houses and even sat down at the tables of those whose death they 
were planning. At a given signal they fell upon the whites in all 
the outlying plantations. Jamestown fortunately escaped, through 
the faithfulness of a converted Indian. A merciless war ensued. 
After a second massacre, some years later, the Indians were ex- 
pelled from the region, and their rich lands along the York and 
the James occupied by the planters. 

According to the idea of King James, the London Company 
was too willing to grant rights to the colonists. He therefore 
took away its charter and made Virginia a royal province 
(1624). Thereafter the king appointed the governor and the 
council, though the colony retained its assembly. The royal 
governors were oftentimes unprincipled men, who ruled for their 
own good and not that of the settlers, showing no sympathy for 
the province and no care for the people. The Navigation Acts 
passed by the parliament in 1660, which were intended to give 

& 1 


England the control of the trade of the colonies, pressed heavily 
on Virginia. They required that the commerce of the colony 
should be carried on in English vessels, all their tobacco shipped 
to England, and all their goods purchased in that country. 

The colony contained few towns or centres ol influence. The 
cultivation of tobacco, as the great staple, and the introduction of 
slaves, naturally led to the establishment of large estates. These 
often descended to the eldest son and were perpetuated in the 
family. The great proprietors were generally men of intelligence, 
accustomed to control. They became the magistrates and mem- 
bers of the council and assembly. A powerful landed aris- 
tocracy was thus growing up and obtaining rule in the prov- 
ince. Virginia was also intensely royal. During the civil war in 
England it sided with the king. After the execution of Charles I. 
many loyalists took refuge on the shores of the Chesapeake. There 
they found "every house a hostelry and every planter a friend." 
At one time there was even a possibility of the young prince 
coming to the New World. Cromwell, however, sent over a 
ship of war to Virginia, and the colonists quickly submitted. 

Under the Commonwealth, the People of Virginia were 
allowed to elect their own officers and to enjoy all the privileges 
of an equal franchise. A change, however, was at hand. The 
news of the Restoration of Charles II. aroused transports of joy, 
but it was the knell to the political privileges of the common 
people. The next assembly (1661) consisted almost entirely of 
cavaliers and great landholders. The Church of England was 
made that of the colony. All had to contribute to its support. 
In each parish a board of vestrymen was appointed, with power 
to assess taxes and fill any vacancy in its body. Dissenters 
were heavily punished. A fine of twenty pounds was imposed 
on absentees from church. Baptists were declared to be "filled 
with new-fangled conceits of their own heretical invention." A 
member who was thought to be kindly disposed toward the 
Quakers was expelled from the Board of Burgesses. The right 
of suffrage was confined to freeholders and housekeepers. The 
vestrymen became a close corporation and imposed taxes at 
pleasure. The assemblymen remained in office after their term 
had expired, and voted themselves a daily pay of two hundred 
and fifty pounds of tobacco (about nine dollars in value) — an 
enormous salary for those days of poverty. 

The common people, feeling themselves deprived of the 




political rights they had so long enjoyed, were ready for an 
uprising. Little knots of men gathered in the gloom of the 
woods to talk over their wrongs. A young planter named 
Nathaniel Bacon, known in history as the " Virginia Rebel," 
sympathizing with the democracy, became its leader, July, 1676. 
Governor Berkeley not proving able to protect the frontier from 
the Indians, Bacon rallied the frightened yeomanry, put the In- 
dians to rout, and then, returning, forced Berkeley to dissolve the 
old assembly and issue writs for a new election. The governor, 
however, failed to keep faith, and civil war broke out. James- 
town was burnt, patriots firing their 
own houses, lest they might protect 
the enemies to their liberty. Bacon 
died in the midst of success. Dis- 
pirited by his loss, 
the people scat- 
tered their forces. 
The principal men 
were hunted down 
with ferocious 
zeal. Hansford, 
a gallant native 
Virginian, per- 
ished on the scaf- 
fold, the first mar- 
tyr to the cause 
of American lib- 
erty. His last 
words were, " I 
die a loyal subject 
and a lover of my 
country." As 
William Drummond was brought in, the vindictive Berkeley, 
bowing low, remarked with cruel mockery, " I am more glad to 
see you than any man in Virginia. You shall be hanged in 
half an hour." The patriot was condemned at one o'clock and 
hanged at four the same day. The gallows received twenty-two 
victims, and yet Berkeley's revenge was not satisfied. Charles II., 
when he heard the tidings, impatiently exclaimed, " The old fool 
has taken more lives in that naked country than I did for the mur- 
der of my father." 



Berkeley was recalled. But the rebellion had been a century 
too early. The governor who succeeded ruled more arbitrarily 
than ever. The king appointed all officers of the colony. Even 
the members of the assembly were hereafter elected only by free- 
holders. Yet as the spirit of liberty spread, the people found 
means to thwart their oppressors, and in spite of adverse circum- 
stances, the colony grew rapidly in wealth and population. 
" There was no need of a scramble ; abundance gushed from the 
earth for all. The morasses were alive with water-fowl ; the 
creeks abounded with oysters, heaped together in inexhaustible 
beds ; the rivers were alive with fish ; the forests were nimble 
with game ; the woods rustled with coveys of quails and wild 
turkeys, while they rung with the merry notes of singing 
birds ; and hogs, swarming like vermin, ran at large in troops. 
It was the best poor man's country in the world." In 1688 it 
had a population of fifty thousand, and exported twenty-five 
thousand hogsheads of tobacco, on which England levied a tax 
of one hundred and thirty-five thousand pounds. 


Lord Baltimore (George Calvert) came to Virginia (1629), 
seeking a refuge for his Catholic brethren, who were then perse- 
cuted in England ; but finding that persons of his faith were 
harshly treated, he secured from the king a grant of land north of 
the Potomac, on the annual payment of two Indian arrows and 
one-fifth of the gold and silver which might be found. This ter- 
ritory received the name Maryland, in honor of the queen, Henri- 
etta Maria. Its charter, unlike that granted to Virginia, gave to 
all freemen the right of making the laws. All sects were to be 
tolerated, and there was to be no interference from the kingf, nor 
any English taxation. 

The first colony was founded at an Indian town near the mouth 
of the Potomac. Religious liberty obtained a home, its first in 
the wide world, at the humble village of St. Mary's. The infant 
colony flourished wonderfully. The land had already been tilled 
by the Indians and was ready for planting. Food was plenty 
and contentment reigned. Tobacco became the staple ; slaves 




were 1 

ntroduced ; and much the same manners and customs ob- 
as in Virginia. There was, for a time, serious difficulty 

with a colony of refugees from 
Virginia under Clayborne, who 
refused to submit to the new gov- 
ernment. The Puritans, coming 
in large numbers, obtained the 
majority over the Catholics. 
Two governors were elected; 
one Catholic and the other 
Protestant. Confusion ensued, 
and then civil war. Finallv 
the Catholics found themselves 
disenfranchised in the very col- 
ony they had planted. In 171 5, 
the fourth Lord Baltimore re- 
covered the government, and 
religious toleration was again 
granted. Maryland remained 
under this administration until 
the Revolution. 


L -^=NS£>*^ 


One stormy day in the fall of 1620, the Mayflower dropped 
anchor in the harbor of Cape Cod. It bore a little band of one 
hundred and two Pilgrims. They had neither charter from the 
king nor the patronage of any company. They were exiles flee- 
ing from persecution at home and seeking religious freedom in 
the New World. They had expected to settle the milder coun- 
try near the Hudson, but instead were borne to the tempestuous 
coast of Massachusetts. Before any one landed, they assembled in 
the cabin and signed a compact agreeing to submit to such "just and 
equal laws " as should be enacted for the " general good." John 
Carver was chosen governor. They sailed about for a month seek- 
ing a good location for their intended settlement. Meanwhile, Cap- 
tain Miles Standish and his soldiers, each armed with coat of mail, 
sword, and match-lock musket, explored the country by land. 



■illi^ii^iMiililliffil mm 



The old chronicles 
narrate various inci- 
dents of their differ- 
ent excursions. One 
day they found " five 
or six people with 
a dogge, who were 
savages," and who " all ran away and whistled the dogge after 
them." Then Bradford (the future governor) was caught in an 
Indian deer-trap, to the great amusement of the party ; and after- 
ward they stumbled upon some heaps of earth, in one of which 
were baskets of Indian corn. This they carried back to the ship 
in a great kettle left among the ruins of an Indian hut. It fur- 
nished them seed for their first crop, and the owners, being after- 
ward found, were carefully paid. At another time having con- 
cluded their morning-prayers, they were preparing to breakfast, 
when a strange yell was heard and a shower of arrows fell in the 
midst of their little camp on the beach. They returned the salute 
with powder and ball, and their savage assailants fled. 

The little shallop which was used for coasting along the shore 
encountered a furious gale, and lost sail, mast, and rudder. With 
great difficulty they brought it to land. Darkness was already 
upon them, and the rain froze on their garments as they stood. 
They kindled a fire out of the wet wood on the shore, and passed 
the night as best they could. The next day was spent in cleaning 
rusty weapons, drying drenched " stuff," and reconnoitering the 
place. Every hour was precious. The winter was rapidly clos- 
ing in. The party in the Mayflower was anxiously awaiting their 
return, yet, being " y e last day of y e weeke, they prepared ther 
to keepe y e Sabbath," 





On Monday, December 21, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. 
A grateful posterity has kept the day in honored remembrance, 
and " Forefathers' Rock," on which they first set foot, is still 
preserved as an object of veneration. It was probably the only 
stone large enough for the purpose of landing in all that bleak, 
sandy coast. 

The cutting blasts of winter fell upon them. Half of the men 
were sick from exposure. Yet they resolutely set at work build- 
ing rude log-cabins. At 
one time there were only 
seven well persons in the 
colony. They " carried 
out the dead through the 
snow and the cold, and 
returned to take care of 
the sick." When spring 
came, the graves they 
had dug far outnumbered 
the houses they had built. But the hearts of the survivors never 
misgave them. When the Mayflower returned to England she 
carried back not a single home-sick pilgrim. 

The summer found them with flourishing fields of barley, 
peas, and Indian corn ; fish, wild fowls, berries, and native fruits 
in abundance ; nineteen log-cabins, each with a little enclosure for 
a private garden ; a rude store-house, twenty feet square, for the 
protection of their common property ; and a platform on the hill 
crowned with five guns as a means of defence. A little brook 
ran by the humble town, and springs of clear, fresh water were 
near. That " the birds sang in the woods most pleasantly," and 
the wild wood-flowers were " very sweet," is their own record, 
and testifies to their cheerful content. 

The feeble colony met with no opposition from the Indians. 
A pestilence had nearly annihilated several tribes inhabiting that 
portion of the coast, and thus, providentially, as the Pilgrims 
devoutly believed, left a clear place for them to occupy. One 
pleasant morning they were startled by the coming of an Indian, 
who, in broken English, bade them " Welcome." He proved 
to be Samoset, a petty chief who had picked up a little of the 
language from the crews of fishing -vessels. He afterward 
brought Massasoit, the head chief of the Wampanoags. A treaty 
was made with him and faithfully observed for over half a cen- 





tury. In 1622, Canonicus, sachem of the Narragansett tribe, sent 
to Plymouth, as a token of defiance, a bundle of arrows tied with 
a rattlesnake's skin. The governor sent back the same skin 
stuffed with powder and ball. The superstitious savages, think- 
ing it some fatal charm, passed it in terror from hand to hand till 
it came back again to Plymouth. 

The first crop proved inadequate for the winter. A new body 
of emigrants arrived, but they were unprovided with food, and so 
only increased the privations and difficulties of the colony. Even 
at the end of three years we are told that " at night they knew 
not where to have a bit in the morning." At one time there was 
only a pint of corn in the settlement, which allowed five kernels to 
each person. Yet such was their pious content that at a social 
dinner, consisting only of clams, eaten off the lid of the same 
chest on which the compact was signed in the cabin of the May- 
flower, good Elder Brewster returned thanks to God for having 
" given them to suck the abundance of the seas and of the treas- 
ures hid in the sand." The plan first adopted of working their 
lands in common failed, as at Jamestown, and a portion was 
assigned each settler. Thrifty, God-fearing, and industrious, 
the Pilgrims steadily gained in abundance and comfort. Car- 
goes of sassafras, then much esteemed in pharmacy, furs and lum- 


ber were sent to England. After a time they raised enough corn 
to sell to fishing-vessels and to barter with the Indians. 

For over eighteen years the government in church and state 
was a strict democracy — all the male inhabitants forming the 
legislature. The increase of population afterward caused it to be 
made representative, and each town sent a committee to the gen- 
eral court. The Plymouth colony remained independent till 1692, 
when it was united to that of Massachusetts Bay. 


The success of the Pilgrims greatly encouraged the establish- 
ment of other settlements. Large numbers of the best Puritan 
families in England were induced to emigrate. In 1628, five ship- 
loads landed at a place which they named Salem, from the Hebrew 
word meaning peace. Their circumstances were far different from 
those of the Pilgrims. It was June when they approached the 
coast. " What with pine woods and green trees by land," writes 
the old chronicler, " and yellow flames painting the sea, we were 
all desirous to see our new Paradise." They had a grant from 
the Council of New England, which had taken the place of the 
old Plymouth Company. They had a charter from the king, 
authorizing them to govern themselves. Moreover, their connec- 
tions in England were powerful. They brought tools, cattle, and 
horses. They were not, however, exempted from the hardships 
incident to a settler's life. The winter was very severe and they 
were forced to subsist on ground-nuts, shell-fish, and acorns, so 
difficult to obtain at that season of the year. One of them 
wrote : " Bread was so very scarce that sometimes I thought the 
very crumbs of my father's table would be sweet unto me. 
And, when I could have meal and water and salt boiled together, 
it was so good, who could wish better?" 

Other settlements were rapidly formed — Charlestown, Dor- 
chester, Watertown, Lynn, and Cambridge. One thousand emi- 
grants under the highly-esteemed Governor Winthrop estab- 
lished themselves at Boston — from its three hills first called 
Tri-Mountain — which became the capital of the colony. 

The government was vested in a governor chosen by the 





people, and a legislature elected in the same manner. None but 
freemen, however, could vote, and none but church members 
were eligible to citizen- 
ship. " Each settlement," 
says Hildreth, " at once 
assumed that township 
authority which has ever 
formed so marked a fea- 
ture in the political or- 
ganization of New Eng- 
land. The people assem- 
bled in town -meeting, 
voted taxes for local pur- 
poses, and chose three, 
five, or seven of the prin- 
cipal inhabitants, at first 
under other names, but 
early known as ' select- 
men,' who had the expen- 
diture of this money and the executive management of town affairs. 
A treasurer and a town clerk were also chosen, and a constable 
was soon added for the service of civil and criminal processes." 
Each town constituted, in fact, a small state almost complete in 

It is a noticeable fact that what we now call Massachusetts 
grew up around two centres, separated not only by forty miles of 
wilderness, but by a great diversity of thought. Plymouth and 
the Bay were two little republics, that for sixty years maintained 
their independence. In England, the Pilgrims who settled the 
former were Separatists ; that is to say, they had left the Church 
of England and set up churches for themselves. The Puritans, 
who came to the Bay, were Non-conformists ; i. c, they simply re- 
fused to conform to certain rules and usages of the Church of Eng- 
land, but remained, as it were, members under protest. Plymouth 
was weak in men and money ; the Bay was strong from the first. 
The former was settled by plain, practical people, having only one 
university man — Elder Brewster; the latter had a superabun- 
dance of highly educated persons. In 1640, the Bay numbered 
seventy-seven clergymen ; they dominated in all political action 
and engrafted on the Puritan colony the best learning of the Old 
World. At Plymouth all voted who were elected to the right of 

4 8 



citizenship ; at the Bay, church membership was a sine qua non, 
so that not a quarter of the adults were eligible to that trust. 
At Plymouth were found quiet, peace, and contentment ; at the 
Bay, the rush of business and the strife of parties, impelling the 
tides of life which set off to establish new centres in Connecticut, 
Rhode Island, and other colonies. 

Religious toleration was rarely seen in those days. Indeed, 
those who were themselves cruelly persecuted were often the 
most intolerant in their treatment of any who differed with them. 
The Puritans had crossed the sea to establish a Puritan 
colony, and they required everybody to attend their worship. 
A strict uniformity of belief was enforced. Religious distur- 
bances soon arose. Roger Williams, an eloquent young minister, 

had adopted the idea 
of " soul -liberty," as 
he expressed it, i. e., 
the responsibility of 
every man to his own 
conscience alone. It 


was a novel sentiment in those days, and was especially unsuited to 
the Puritan method of government. Williams was accordingly 
expelled from the colony. Exiled by Christians, he found a home 
with Pagans. Canonicus. a Narragansett chief, gave him land for 
a settlement, which he gratefully called Providence (1636). Mrs. 
Hutchinson, who rebelled at the restraints placed upon women, 
and claimed to have special revelations of God's will, was also 
banished, and joined the new colony. The Quakers had come 
to Boston overflowing with zeal, and even courting persecution. 




They received it in abundance. Several were hanged. Num- 
bers were flogged and expelled. These, too, found a hearty 
welcome at the Providence plantation, the exiled Williams freely 
sharing his lands with religious refugees of every class. Thus 
were laid the foundations of the State of Rhode Island. Its 
fundamental principle was its founder's favorite one of entire 
liberty of conscience. 

A union of the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New 
Haven, and Connecticut, was formed in 1643, under the title of 
The United Colonies of New England. This was a famous 
league in colonial times, and was the germ of the Federal Union 
of later days. The object was a common protection against the 
Indians and the encroachments of the Dutch and French settlers. 

Massasoit, like Powhatan, was the friend of the whites. After 
Massasoit's death, his son, King Philip, as he was called, brooding 
over the constant encroachments of the settlers, the loss of game, 
and the usurpation of his favorite hunting-grounds, at last organ- 
ized a confederation of various 
tribes to drive out the intruders. 
The struggle began ere his plans 
were completed. Some Indians 
being tried and hanged for mur- 
der, Philip, in revenge, fell upon 
Swanzy, a little settlement near 
his home at Mount Hope (1675). 
Troops came, and he fled, mark- 
ing his flight by burning build- 
ings and by poles hung with the 
heads, hands, and scalps of the 
hapless whites whom he met 
on the way. All the horrors of 
Indian warfare now burst upon 
the doomed colonists of New 
England. The settlements were 
widely scattered. The Indians 
lurked in every forest and brake. 
They watched for the lonely 
settler as he opened his door 

in the morning, as he was busy with his work in the field, or 
walked along the forest path to church. The fearful war-whoop, 
the deadly tomahawk, the treacherous ambuscade, filled the col- 


(From an Old Print.) 




ony with constant terror. 
In August, a company of 
eighty young men, " the very 
flower of the county of Es- 
sex," were returning from 
Deerfield with a train of 
wagons loaded with wheat, 
which they had harvested. At a little stream, ever since that day 
called Bloody Run, they stopped to pick the grapes which hung 
in profusion from the trees along the road. Suddenly amid their 
glee, the Indians leaped upon them, like tigers, from the thicket. 
Only seven or eight of the entire party escaped. While the sav- 
ages were plundering the dead, troops came to the rescue, and, 
in turn, cut down nearly one hundred of their number ere they 
could escape. 

At Hadley, the Indians surprised the people during a relig- 
ious service. Seizing their muskets at the sound of the savage 
war-whoop, the men rushed out of the meeting-house to fall into 
line. But the foe was on every side. Confused and bewildered, 
the settlers seemed about to give way, when suddenly a strange 
old man with long white beard and ancient garb appeared among 
them. Ringing out a quick, sharp word of command, he recalled 


them to their senses. Following their mysterious leader, they 
drove the enemy headlong before them. The danger passed, 
they looked around for their deliverer ; but he had disappeared 
as mysteriously as he had come. The good people believed 
that God had sent an angel to their rescue. History reveals 
the secret. It was the regicide Colonel Goffe. Fleeing from the 
vengeance of Charles II., with a price set upon his head, he had for 
years wandered about, living in mills, clefts of rocks, and forest 
caves. At last he had found an asylum with the Hadley minister. 
From his window he had seen the stealthy Indians coming down 
the hill. Fired with desire to do one more good deed for God's 
people, he rushed from his hiding-place, led them on to victory, 
and then returned to his retreat, never more to reappear. 

All the long summer the cruel strife went on. But when 
winter came, and the forest was more open and the low ground 
frozen over, a large body of the colonists attacked the Indians in 
their stronghold, in an almost inaccessible swamp in South King- 
ston. After a desperate struggle the fort was carried, and the 
wigwams filled with stores were burned to ashes. A thousand 
warriors were killed. The next year Philip was left almost alone. 
Hunted from place to place, he was tracked to the centre of a 
morass, where he was shot by one of his own people. It was 
a sad fate for a brave man, who, under other circumstances, 
would have been styled a hero and a patriot. The war had cost 
the colony six hundred men and one million dollars. Every 
eleventh house had been burned and every eleventh soldier killed. 
No help had been asked or received from England. 

The year 1692 is memorable as that of the Salem Witchcraft. 
This was a delusion which seems preposterous now, but which 
was then in accordance with the current belief of the times. It 
broke out in the family of Mr. Parish, a minister of Salem, where 
a company of girls had been in the habit of meeting with two West 
Indian slaves, to study the " black art." Suddenly they began to 
be mysteriously contorted, to bark like dogs, purr like cats, and 
scream at some unseen thing which was sticking pins in their bodies. 
They accused an old Indian servant of bewitching them. On 
being scourged, she acknowledged the crime. A fast-day was 
proclaimed. Cotton Mather, a distinguished minister of Boston, 
and a firm believer in the delusion, came to investigate the case. 
The excitement spread. Impeachments multiplied. A special 
court was formed to try the accused. The jails rapidly filled. 




Magistrates were busy. On the most foolish charges — as being 
seen flying through the air on a broom — respectable people were 
condemned to death. It was dangerous to express doubt of a 
prisoner's guilt. Fifty-five persons suffered torture and twenty 
were executed. All these might have escaped if they had con- 
fessed themselves guilty, but, with noble heroism, they chose 
death rather than a falsehood. When the people awoke to their 


folly the reaction was wonderful. Judge Sewall was so deeply 
penitent that he observed a day of fasting in each year, and on 
the day of general fast rose in his place in the Old South Church 
at Boston, and in the presence of the congregation handed to the 
pulpit a written confession acknowledging his error, and praying 

" That the sin of his ignorance sorely rued, 
Might be washed away in the mingled flood 
Of his human sorrow and Christ's dear blood." 

The history of Maine and New Hampshire is almost identical 
with that of Massachusetts. The early settlements grew up out 
of various fishing stations along the coast. A story is told of an 
itinerant preacher, who, in his exhortations to the people of Ports- 
mouth, reminded them that as they had come thither for the pur- 
pose of free worship, they ought to be very religious. " Sir, you 
are quite mistaken," was the reply. " You think you are speak- 
ing to the people of Massachusetts Bay. Our main end is to catch 
fish." Maine was not one of the original thirteen colonies, and 
did not separate from Massachusetts till 1820. New Hampshire 
was three times given to Massachusetts, either from its own wish 
or by royal authority. In 1741 it became a royal province, and 
had its governor, who was appointed by the king. 

1635.] THE PEQUOD WAR. 53 


The valley of the Connecticut — a name derived from the Indian 
word for long river — was settled from Massachusetts. Rumors of 
its rich bottom lands early attracted the attention of the pioneers 
struggling for an existence upon the barren sea-coast around Plym- 
outh and the Bay. In 1633 a company of traders from Plymouth 
sailed up the river and built a fort at Windsor. In the autumn 
°f 1635 John Steele, one of the proprietors of Cambridge, led z 
pioneer company " out west," as it was then considered, and laid, 
the foundations of Hartford. They passed the winter in miser- 
able cabins, half-buried in the snow, living precariously on con. 
purchased of the Indians. The next year the main band, with 
their pastor, Thomas Hooker, a most eloquent and estimable man, 
" the light of the western churches," came, driving their flocks 
before them, through the wilderness. For two weeks they 
traveled on foot, traversing mountains, swamps, and rivers, with 
only the compass for a guide, and little beside the milk from 
their own cows for their subsistence. Mrs. Hooker being ill, was 
borne on a litter. They established Hartford, Wethersfield and 
Windsor, known as the Connecticut colony, giving the franchise 
to all freemen. New Haven was settled by a company of Puri- 
tans direct from England. Like the colony around Massachusetts 
Bay, they allowed only church^members to vote. 

The settlers had not been a year in their new home when a 
war broke out with the Pequod Indians. Roger Williams, hear- 
ing that this tribe was likely to obtain the aid of the Narragan- 
setts, forgot all the wrongs he had received from the Massachu- 
setts people, and, at the risk of his life, went to the Indian 
council, confronted the Pequod deputies, and, after a three-days 
struggle, prevailed upon the Narragansetts to take part with the 
whites. A body of ninety Connecticut colonists was now raised 
to attack the Pequod stronghold on the Mystic River. Aftei 
spending nearly all night in prayer, at the request of the sol 
diers, they set out on their perilous expedition. On the way they 
were joined by several hundred friendly Indians. The party 
approached the fort at daybreak (June 5, 1637). The barking of 
a dog aroused the sleepy sentinel, and he shouted, " Owanux ! 
Owanux ! " (the Englishmen ! ) — but it was too late. The troops 
were already within the palisades. The Indians collected them- 




selves and made a fierce resistance ; but Captain Mason, seizing a 
firebrand, hurled it among the wigwams. The flames quickly 
swept through the encampment. The English themselves barely 
escaped. A few Indians fled to the swamp, but were hunted 
down. The tribe perished in a day. This fearful blow struck 
terror to the savages, and gave New England peace for forty 
years, until King Philip's war, of which we have spoken. " The 
infant was safe in its cradle, the laborer in the fields, the solitary 
traveler during the night-watches in the forest ; the houses 
needed no bolts, the settlements no palisades." 

The younger Winthrop, son of Governor Winthrop of Massa- 
chusetts and one of the most accomplished men of his time, went 
to England, and by his personal influence and popularity obtained 
from Charles I. the most liberal charter as yet given to the 
colonies. It was a precious boon to liberty. Twenty-five years 
afterward, Governor Andros, pompously marching from Boston 
over the route where the pious Hooker had led his little flock fifty 
years before, came " glittering with scarlet and lace " into the 
assembly at Hartford, and demanded the charter. A protracted 
debate ensued. The people crowded around to take a last look at 

this guarantee of their liberties, 
when suddenly the lights were ex- 
tinguished. On being relighted, 
the charter was gone. William 
Wadsworth had seized it, escaped 
through the crowd, and hidden 
it in the hollow of a tree, famous 
ever after as the CJiartcr Oak. 
However, Andros pronounced 
the charter government at an 
end. " Finis " was written at the 
close of the minutes of their last meeting. 

The freedom of the press was now denied, 
marry had to give heavy bonds with sureties. 

in wedlock was taken from the clergy and given to the magis- 
trates. Payment of money to non-conformist ministers was for- 
bidden. Farmers were required to take out new titles to their 
land, at great expense. The rule of the governor became at last 
unendurable. When he was finally deposed, the people brought 
out the faded but now doubly-precious charter from its hiding- 
place, the general court reassembled, and the "finis" disappeared. 


Persons about to 
The right to join 






This was the only colony planted by the Dutch. In 1609, 
Henry Hudson, an English navigator in the service of the Dutch, 
while seeking a northwest passage to the Indies entered the 
harbor of New York. His vessel, the Half-Moon, was the first 
European ship to sail up that noble river which now bears his 
name. Strange was the sight which greeted his wondering eyes. 
" Sombre forests," says Bancroft, " shed a melancholy grandeur 
over the useless magnificence of nature, and hid in their deep 


shades the rich soil which the sun had never warmed. No axe 
had leveled the giant progeny of the crowded groves, in which 
the fantastic forms of withered limbs that had been blasted and 
riven by lightning contrasted strangely with the verdant fresh- 
ness of a younger growth of branches. The wanton grape-vine, 
seeming by its own power to have sprung from the earth and to 
have fastened its leafy coils on the top of the tallest forest tree, 


swung in the air with every breeze like the loosened shrouds of a 
ship. Reptiles sported in stagnant pools, or crawled unharmed 
over piles of mouldering trees." Red men, too, were there : 
sometimes conciliatory, as when they flocked about in their 
canoes to barter grapes, pumpkins, and furs for beads and knives ; 
sometimes vindictive, as when they beset the little exploring boat 
and sent Hudson's long-time comrade to a grave on the beach. 

About the time that John Smith went back to England, Hud- 
son turned his prow toward Holland. His voyage had rendered 
his name immortal. Legends of the daring sailor still live among 
the old Dutch families, and when the black thunder-clouds send 
their crackling peals along the Palisades, they say, " Hendrick 
Hudson and his crew are playing nine-pins now." 

It was the golden age of Dutch commerce. Holland imme- 
diately laid claim to the country and named it " New Nether- 
land." In 1613 some huts were erected on the present site of 
New York. The year after the landing of the Pilgrims, the 
Dutch West India Company obtained a patent for the territory 
between the Delaware and the Connecticut. Rivers. To every 
one who should plant a colony of fifty persons they offered a 
tract of land sixteen miles in length, which they and their heirs 
should hold forever. These proprietors were called patroons, or 
lords of the manor. The famous anti-rent difficulties of after 
times grew out of these grants. 

To supply the requisite number of emigrants, ship-captains 
brought over many poor Germans, whose passage-money was 
paid by the patroons, whom they were in turn bound to serve for 
a given term of years. It was a profitable arrangement for all 
concerned. During the period of service the Rcdcmptioncrs, as 
they were called, gained a knowledge of the language and ways 
of the country, and were fitted to take care of themselves when 
they became independent. In that charming little volume, " New 
York Society in the Olden Time," a story is told of one of these 
settlers who, having completed his bondage of several years, 
quietly produced a bag of gold which he had brought over with 
him, and which was sufficient to purchase a farm. But, said his 
late master in surprise, " why, with all this money, did you not 
pay your passage, instead of serving as a redemptioner so long?" 
" Oh," said the cautious emigrant from the Rhine, " I did not know 
English, and I should have been cheated. Now I know all about 
the country, and I can set up for myself." Which was true phil- 




osophy. These industrious settlers became respected citizens, 
and their descendants are to-day among the wealthy farmers 
along the Hudson. 

Peter Minuits came over as first governor in 1626. He 
bought the Island of Manhattan of the Indians for twenty-four 
dollars. Here was founded the city of New Amsterdam. Trade 
was opened with the Indians, and canoes pushed up every neigh- 
boring inlet to barter for otter and beaver skins. Meanwhile 
there was trouble with the Swedes on the Delaware, and the 
English on the Connecticut, both of whom had settled on lands 
claimed by the Dutch. Then, too, there was a fearful massacre 
of Indians, perpetrated by Governor Kieft, and in revenge the war- 
whoop echoed through every forest 
glen, and not a farm or " bowerie " 
was safe. The colonists, indignant at 
his cruel folly, sent the governor home, 
but he was wrecked on the coast of 
Wales and miserably perished. 

Under Governor Stuyvesant came 
better times. He arranged the Con- 
necticut boundary line ; conquered 
New Sweden, as the colony on the 
Delaware was called ; made peace 
with the Indians, and built a palisade 
across the island where now is Wall 
street. Dutch industry and thrift 
meant prosperity here as well as in 
Holland. From the first, New York 
was a cosmopolitan city. Even at 
that early day eighteen languages 
were said to be spoken. The French 
Huguenots, the Italian Waldenses, 
the Swiss Calvinists, the world-hated 
Jew, all found a home and a refuge in 
this growing colony. The island was 
mostly divided into farms. The Park was crowned with forest 
trees and used for a common pasture, where tanners obtained 
bark and boys gathered chestnuts for half a century later. 

With all Governor Stuyvesant's honesty and ability, " Head- 
strong Peter," as they called him, was inclined to be obstinate. 
He especially hated democratic institutions. The English in the 





colony looked with longing- eyes on the rights enjoyed by their 
Connecticut brethren, so that when, in 1664, an English fleet came 
to anchor in the harbor and demanded a surrender in the name of 


the Duke of York, there was secret joy in the town. The stout- 
hearted governor had been a brave soldier in his time, and he 
stumped about on his wooden leg at a terrible rate, angrily tore 
up the letter of his council making terms, and swore he would 
hold the place at every cost. But the burgomasters made him 
put the pieces together and sign the surrender. The English 
flag soon floated over the island, and the name of the colony was 
changed to New York in honor of the new proprietor. England 
was now master of the coast from Canada to Florida. 

The English governors disappointed the people by not granting 
their coveted rights. A remonstrance against being taxed with- 
out representation was burned by the hangman. So that when, 
after nine years of English authority, a Dutch fleet appeared in 
the harbor, the people went back quietly under their old rulers. 
But the next year, peace being restored between England and 
Holland, New Amsterdam became New York again. Thus ended 
the Dutch rule in the colonies. Andros, who twelve years after 
played the tyrant in New England, was the next governor. He 
managed so arbitrarily that he was called home. Under his 
successor, Dongan, there was a gleam of civil freedom. By per- 





'I * 



ItiChiiVaultlici L-uried 


InNewNefherland now called Newark: 
And the DutchWe^ Tncf i alsIands.Die<f AD.I6> j| 
Aged gO vears. 





(From St. Mark's Church, New York.) 


mission of the Duke of York, he called an assembly of the repre- 
sentatives of the people. This was but transient, for two years 
after, when the Duke of York became James II., king of England, 
he forgot all his 
promises, for- 
bade legislative 
assemblies, pro- 
hibited print- 
and annexed 
the colony to 
New England. 
When, how- 
ever, Andros 
was driven from 
Boston, Nichol- 
son, his lieuten- 
ant and apt tool 
of tyranny in 
New York, fled 

at once. Captain Leisler, supported by the democracy, but bit- 
terly opposed by the aristocracy, thereupon administered affairs 
very prudently until the arrival of Governor Slaughter, who ar- 
rested him on the absurd charge of treason. Slaughter was unwil- 
ling to execute him, but Leisler's enemies, at a dinner party, made 
the governor drunk, obtained his signature, and before he became 
sober enough to repent, Leisler was no more. The people were 
greatly excited over his death, and cherished pieces of his clothing 
as precious relics. For long after, party strife ran high and bitter 
over his martyrdom. 

In the latter part of the seventeenth century, Captain Kidd was 
noted as a bold and skillful shipmaster. He distinguished himself 
as a privateersman against the French in the West Indies, ana 
received one hundred and fifty pounds for protecting New York 
city from pirates, who at that time infested the ocean highways. 
Being sent out against these sea-robbers, he finally became a pirate 
himself. Returning from his guilty cruise, he boldly appeared in 
the streets of Boston, where he was captured in the midst of a prom- 
enade. He was carried to England, tried, and hung. His name 
and deeds have been woven into popular romance, and the song 
' My name is Captain Kidd, as I sailed, as I sailed," is well known. 




He is believed to have buried his ill-gotten riches on the coast of 
Long Island or the banks of the Hudson, and these localities have 
suffered many a search from credulous persons seeking for Kidd's 

When New Netherland passed into the hands of the Duke of 
York, he sold the portion between the Hudson and the Delaware 
to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. This tract took the 
name of Jersey in honor of Carteret, who had been governor of 
the island of Jersey in the British Channel. The first settlement, 

which was a cluster of only four 
houses, was called Elizabethtown, 
after his wife. His portion was called 
East, and Lord Berkeley's West New 
Jersey. The colonists were led by a 
brother of the proprietor, who came 
with a hoe on his shoulder to remind 
the people of the way to fortune and 
prosperity. The Quakers, Scotch 
Presbyterians, and others persecuted for conscience sake, grad- 
ually occupied the country. Constant trouble prevailed among 
the settlers regarding the land titles, and in 1702 the proprietors 
gave up their rights, and " the Jerseys," as the colony was long 
known, became a royal province. 




William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was a celebrated 
English Quaker. Wishing to establish a home for the oppressed 
Friends in England, he secured from Charles II. the grant of a large 
tract west of the Delaware, in lieu of sixteen thousand pounds due 
his father by the crown, on condition of paying annually two beaver 
skins. This territory Penn wished to have called Sylvania (sylva, 
forest), as it was covered with woods ; but the king ordered it to 
be styled Pennsylvania, and although Penn offered the secretary 
twenty guineas to erase the prefix, his request was denied. Penn 
immediately sent a body of emigrants to begin the " holy experi- 
ment," and came himself the next year in the ship " Welcome." 
Right royally was he welcomed by the settlers already within the 





boundaries of his land, for his first proclamation had preceded 
him with the spirit of a benediction. " I hope you will not be 
troubled at your chainge and the king's choice," he wrote, " for 
you are now fixt, at the mercy of no governour that comes to make 
his fortune great. You shall be governed by laws of your own 
makeing, and live a free, and if you will, a sober and industrious 
people. God has furnisht me with a better resolution, and has 
given me His grace to keep it." On the beautiful banks of the 
Delaware, in 1683, he laid the foundations of Philadelphia, tht* 
" City of Brotherly Love," which 
he intended should be a " faire and 
greene country toune," with gar- 
dens around every house. It was 
in the midst of the forest, and the 
startled deer bounded past the set- 
tler who came to survey his new 
home. Yet within a year it had 
one hundred houses ; in two years 
numbered over two thousand in- 
habitants ; and in three years had 
gained more than New York in 
half a century. 

The government was most 
happily inaugurated, while the 
Philadelphia mansions were as yet 
mainly hollow trees. A legisla- 
ture appointed by the people was 
to make all the laws. Every sect 
was to be tolerated. Any freeman 
could vote and hold office who believed in God and kept the 
Lord's day. No tax could be levied but by law. Every child was 
to be taught a useful trade. It seemed to be Penn's only desire to 
make the little colony as happy and free as could be. Under a 
large spreading elm at Shackamaxon, Penn attended a council of 
the Indian chiefs. " We meet," said he, " on the broad pathway of 
good faith and good will ; no advantage shall be taken on either 
side, but all shall be openness and love. The friendship between 
you and me I will not compare to a chain ; for that the rains 
might rust, and the falling tree might break. We are the same as 
if one man's body were to be divided into two parts ; we are all 
One flesh and blood." The savages were touched by his gentle 



words and kindly bearing. " We will live in love with William 
Penn and his children," said they, " as long as the sun and moon 
shall shine." They kept the history of the treaty by means of 
strings of wampum, and would often count over the shells on a 
clean piece of bark and rehearse its provisions. " It was the only 
treaty never sworn to, and the only one never broken." On 
every hand the Indians waged relentless war with the colonies, 
but they never shed a drop of Quaker blood. Penn often visited 
their wigwams, shared in their sports, and talked to them of God 
and Heaven. He found even in the breast of the red man of the 
forest a response to his faithful teachings and pure example. 
They gave him the name Onas, and the highest compliment they 
could confer on any person was to say he was like Onas. 

Penn soon returned to England. Fifteen years afterward he 
came back with his family, intending to make the New World 
his home. But he could not shut out disturbance and conflict. 
The boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania was uncer- 
tain. It was not settled until 1767, when two surveyors, Mason 
and Dixon, ran the line since famous as Mason and Dixon's line. 
The " Three Counties on the Delaware " became discontented. 
Penn gave them a deputy-governor and an assembly of their own. 
Delaware and Pennsylvania, however, remained under one gov- 
ernment till the Revolution. The colonists of Pennsylvania were 
unwilling to pay the rents by which Penn sought to reimburse 
himself for his heavy outlay, and, not content with the privileges 
already secured, constantly sought to weaken the authority of 
their benefactor. Penn sorrowfully returned to his native land, 
and finally died in want and obscurity. 


Carolina, as we have seen, was first named in honor of a 
French monarch ; but it remained for the English to settle the 
country. A company of religious refugees from Virginia had 
already pushed through the wilderness and " squatted " near 
the mouth of Chowan River. Here they established the Albe- 
marle colony. In 1663, Charles II., who in his lavish igno- 
rance had given away half the continent, granted the vast 


territory south of Virginia to eight proprietors, chiefly his cour- 
tiers and ministers. The plan — the " grand model," as it was 
called — of the colony which they proposed to establish was 
drawn up by Lord Shaftesbury and the famous philosopher, John 
Locke. It was the wonder of the day. All the vast territory — 
embracing the present States of North and South Carolina, 
Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, 
Florida, Missouri, and a large part of Texas and Mexico — was to 
be divided into counties, each containing four hundred and eighty 
thousand acres. Over each county were to be a landgrave and 
two caciques or barons. They were to hold one-fifth of the land, 
and the proprietors one-fifth, leaving the balance to the people. 
No one owning less than fifty acres could vote ; while tenants 
were to be merely serfs, and slaves were to be at the absolute 
will of their masters. 

The emigrants sent out by the English proprietors first sailed 
into the well-known waters where Ribaut had anchored over a 
century before, but afterward removed to the ancient groves cov- 
ered with yellow jasmine, which marked the site of the present city 
of Charleston, then only Oyster Point. The growth of the new 
colony was rapid. Thither came ship-loads of Dutch from New 
York, dissatisfied with the English rule and attracted by the 
genial climate. The French Huguenots, after the revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes, flocked to the land where religious perse- 
cution was to be forever unknown. Their church was in Charles- 
ton ; and " thither on every Lord's day, gathering from their 
plantations on the banks of the Cooper, they might be seen, the 
parents with their children, making their way in light skiffs, 
through scenes so tranquil that silence was broken only by the 
rippling of oars and the hum of the flourishing village at the 
confluence of the rivers." The Huguenot settlers were a valua- 
ble acquisition to Charleston. At one time they numbered sixteen 
thousand, and added whole streets to the city. Many of them were 
from families of marked refinement in France, and their elegant 
manners, no less than their industry, charity, and morality, made 
an impress on the growing town. They brought the mulberry 
and olive from their own sunny land, and established magnificent 
plantations on the banks of the Cooper River. They also intro- 
duced many choice varieties of pears, which still bear illustrious 
Huguenot names. Their eminently honorable descendants have 
borne a proud part in the establishment of the American Repub- 




lie. Of seven presidents who were at the head of the Philadel- 
phia Congress during the Revolution, three were of Huguenot 


A body of planters from 
the Barbadoes had, ere this, 
brought African slaves with 
them. Their labor proving 
very profitable, in a few years 
they were introduced to such an extent that they nearly doubled 
the whites in number. A little incident which happened in 1694 
had much to do with the early prosperity of the colony. The 
captain of a ship from Madagascar gave to Governor Smith 
a bag of seed rice, saying that it was much esteemed for food 
in Eastern countries. The governor shared it with his friends, 
and they all planted it in different soils to test its fitness for the 
American climate. It lived and thrived ; and thus was introduced 
what shortly became an important staple. 

The Great Model was an aristocratic scheme. The democrats 
of the New World, fleeing persecution and tyranny at home, 
living in log-cabins, and dressing in homespun and deer-skins, 
would none of it, and it was soon abandoned. The colonists were 
therefore allowed to have an assembly chosen by themselves, the 
governor only being appointed by the proprietors — the northern 




and southern colonies, on account of their remoteness from each 
other, having each its own. There were still great difficulties 
with the proprietors about rents, taxes, and rights, untill in 1729, 
the Carolinas became a royal province. 


Georgia was the last to be planted of the famous thirteen 
colonies. America, which was now a home for the oppressed of 
all religious faiths — Huguenots, Puritans, Presbyterians, Quakers, 
and Catholics — was also to become an asylum for afflicted debt- 
ors. James Oglethorpe obtained from George II. a tract of land 
which was named Georgia in honor of the king. Oglethorpe 
himself accompanied the first body of emigrants to their new 
home. His kindly mien, like that of another Penn, won the love 
of the Indians. One of the chiefs 
gave him a buffalo's skin with the 
head and feathers of an eagle painted 
on the inside of it. " The eagle," 
said the warrior, " signifies swift- 
ness ; and the buffalo, strength. The 
English are swift as a bird to fly over 
the vast seas, and as strong as a beast 
before their enemies. The eagle's 
feathers are soft and signify love ; 
the buffalo's skin is warm and means 
protection ; therefore love and pro- 
tect our families." Another chief 
addressed him thus : " We are come 
twenty-five days journey to see you. 
When I heard you were come, and 
that you are good men, I came down 
that I might hear good things." 

In 1733 Oglethorpe laid out the city of Savannah in broad 
avenues and open squares, and here he lived for a year, in a tent 
pitched beneath four beautiful forest pines. Soon after, a com- 
pany of German Lutherans set out on foot from their homes in 
Salzburg, and walked to Frankfort, chanting hymns of deliver- 


(From an Old Print.) 




ance as they went. Taking ship, in due time they also reached 
the land of the refugee. Sturdy Scotch Highlanders settled at 
Darien. Hither, also, came John and Charles Wesley, full of zeal 
for the conversion of the Indians and the religious good of the 
young colony. A little later, George Whitefield stirred the 
people by his wonderful eloquence. At one time, sixty thousand 
were gathered to hear him, and his open-air meetings were often 
attended by from twenty thousand to forty thousand people. 

Georgia, as well as Carolina, bordered on Florida, and there 
were several contests between the young colonies and their 
Spanish neighbors. The South Carolinians and the Georgians 
each fruitlessly invested St. Augustine (1702 and 1740), and the 
Spaniards, in turn, attacked Charleston and Savannah (1706 and 
1742). Little, however, resulted from these spurts of national 
hatred, except to make more apparent the necessity of bringing 
Florida under the English crown. 

The laws of the Georgian colony were very irksome. The 
trustees limited the size of a man's farm, allowed no woman to 
inherit land, and forbade the importation of slaves or of rum. 
The last law cut off a large source of profit, as a valuable trade 
of lumber for rum had sprung up with the West Indies. Wearied 
by complaints, the trustees surrendered the colony to the crown, 
and Georgia became a royal province, like the other colonies. 





BILE the English had thus estab- 
lished themselves on the Atlan- 
tic coast, the settlement of New 
France had gone on apace. The 
same year that Henry Hudson 
sailed north up the river which 
now bears his name, Champlain, a 
French explorer who had already 
founded Quebec, penetrating the 
wilds of New York southward, 
discovered the beautiful lake which 
was henceforth to be called in his 
honor. While most of the English 
colonists steadily pushed back the Indians from their advancing 
settlements, making but slight efforts for their conversion or 
civilization, the French intermarried with them, mingled in their 
sports, shared their scanty fare, and, in their government of them, 
always joined kindness to firmness. They sought, not to drive 
away the natives, but to make the most of them. Their scheme 
of colonization, in fact, seemed to embrace but two objects — the 
mission work and the fur trade. Jesuit missionaries, burning 
with zeal and ardor, flocked to the banks of the St. Lawrence, 
and pushed their way into the virgin forest, dismayed by no 
storm, or hostility, or pestilence. Under the dripping trees, 
through the sodden snow, amid cruel and treacherous tribes, they 
moved with unflagging courage, asking only to baptize the poor 
red man, and ensure to his soul the joys of the upper paradise. 
Many of these indefatigable pioneers were murdered by the 
savages ; some were scalped, some burned in rosin-fire, some 
scalded with hot water ; yet, ever, as one fell out of the ranks, 





another sprang forward, cross in hand, to fill his place. They crept 
along the northern lakes, and, in 1668, founded the mission of San 

Ste. Marie, the oldest European 
settlement in Michigan. Father 
Marquette floated in a birch-bark 
canoe down the Wisconsin to the 
Mississippi River. Going ashore 
one day at his hour of devotion, 
he did not return. His followers 
sought him, and found that he had 
died while at prayer, with his eyes 
fixed on the cross he had carried so 
long and so faithfully. 

La Salle, a famous French ad- 
venturer, descended the Great 
River to the Gulf, naming the country on its banks Louisiana, in 
honor of Louis XIV. of France. Before the close of the seven- 
teenth century, the French had explored the Great Lakes, the 
Fox, Maumee, Wabash, Wisconsin, and Illinois Rivers, and the 
Mississippi from the Falls of St. Anthony to the Gulf. They had 
traversed a region including what is now known as Louisiana, 
Arkansas, Mississippi, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, the 
Canadas, and Nova Scotia. In 1688, New France had a population 
of eleven thousand. The opening of the eighteenth century found 
them still at their labor of colonization. In 1700, De Tonty built 
Fort Rosalie near the present site of Natchez. Fort Detroit 
was erected in 1701. Mobile was settled in 1702 and became the 
capital of all Louisiana. New Orleans was founded in 1718, and 
Vincennes in 1735. The French names still lingering throughout 
the Mississippi valley preserve the memories of its early settlers. 

Frequent contests broke out in Europe between England and 
France. The colonists naturally took part with their parent 
countries, and thus the flames of war were kindled in the New. 
World. From 1689 to 1763 — three-fourths of a century — the 
struggle went on. The series of quarrels are known with us as 
"King William's War" (1689-1697), "Queen Anne's War" 
(1702-1713), " King George's War" (1744-1748), and the " Old 
French and Indian War" (1754-1763). There were frequent 



6 9 


pauses in the strife, but it was really and always a continuation 
of the same struggle ; and the issue was to decide whether the 
French or the English were to rule the continent. The Indians 
generally sided with the French. They were armed with guns 
and often led by French officers. The horrors of King Philip's 
and the Pequod wars were now renewed with tenfold intensity. 
The border settlers were in constant fear of the tomahawk. 
" Children, as they gambolled on the beach ; reapers, as they 
gathered the harvest ; mowers, as they rested from using the 
scythe ; mothers, as they busied themselves about the household, 
were victims to an enemy who disappeared the moment a blow 
was struck, and who was ever present when a garrison or a 
family ceased its vigilance." Every village had its block or gar- 
rison house, solidly constructed, and surrounded with a palisade 
of logs ; the upper story sometimes projected beyond the lower, 
and in it were cut loop-holes for firing upon the invader. 
Thither the inhabitants fled for shelter at any alarm. 

One June evening in 1689, ten squaws applied for lodging — 
two at each of the five garrisoned houses — in Dover, N. H. So 
secure were the inhabitants in the good faith of the Indians, that 
every family but one not only granted the request, but also 
showed them how to unfasten the bolts and bars of the doors and 
gates, in case they should desire to go out during the night. 




Mesandowit, one of the chiefs, was entertained at Major Wal- 
dron's garrison, as he had often been before, where they chatted 
pleasantly together, and the family retired to rest in unsuspecting 
confidence. When all was quiet, the squaws opened the gates 
and gave a concerted signal to the concealed Indians without. 
Major Waldron, an old man of eighty years, awakened by the 
noise, jumped from his bed and fought valiantly with his sword, 
but was stunned by a blow from a tomahawk, and forced into an 
arm-chair, which was mounted on the long table where he had 
supped with his betrayer. " Who shall judge Indians now?" the 
savages derisively asked, as they danced about their veteran cap- 
tive. Having forced the inmates of the house to prepare food 
for them, they regaled themselves, and then, wiping their knives, 
each " crossed out his account," as they mockingly said, upon the 
Major's body. Horribly mutilated and faint with the loss of 
blood, he was falling from the table, when one of them held his 
own sword under him and thus put an end to his misery. The 
family were all killed or taken prisoners, and the house was 
fired. The same fate befell the next dwelling and its inmates. 
The third house was saved by the barking of a dog, which 
aroused the dwellers in time to protect themselves. At Mr. 
Coffin's, the savages found a bag of money, and amused them- 
selves by making the master of the house throw it on the floor in 
handfuls, while they scrambled after it. They then took him to 
the house of his son, who had refused to admit the squaws the 
night before, and, summoning the younger Coffin to surrender, 

threatened to kill his father be- 
fore his eyes if he refused. Both 
of these families were confined in 
a deserted house for safe keep- 
ing until the savages were ready 
to take them on their march, but, 
while their captors were busy in 
plundering, they happily man- 
aged to escape. 

A war -party of French and 
Indians coming down from Can- 
ada on their snow-shoes in the depth of winter (1690), attacked 
Schenectady. They stealthily dispersed through the town, and 
the inhabitants were only aroused from sleep as the brutal foe 
burst into their houses. Men, women, and children were 

■ : ^^^ -^M^>' 





dragged from their beds and massacred. The few who escaped 
fled half-naked through the blinding snow to Albany. 


In March, 1697, the Indians made a descent upon Haverhill, 
Massachusetts, where they murdered and captured about forty 
persons, and burned several houses. One Mr. Dustin was work- 
ing in his field. He hastened to his home, and bidding his seven 
children run with all speed to a neighboring garrison, seized his 
gun, mounted his horse, and set out after them. He had intended 
to take one before him on his horse, and protect the rest as best he 
might ; but when he overtook them, each one seemed so precious 
he could make no choice, and he determined that they should live 
or die together. Happily, he succeeded in keeping the Indians at 
bay until a place of safety was reached. He had left his wife ill 
in bed with an infant child, knowing that any effort to save her 
would only ensure death to them all. She, with the nurse and 
child, were dragged away in the train of captives. The babe of a 
week was soon disposed of in Indian fashion, and, as the strength 
of other prisoners failed, they were scalped and left by the road- 
side. Mrs. Dustin and nurse kept on the march for a hundred 
and fifty miles, when, learning that the captives were to be tor- 
tured to death after their destination was reached, she resolved 




upon a desperate effort to escape. In the dead of night she arose 
with her nurse and an English boy who, having long been a 
prisoner, had learned how to produce death with one blow of 
the tomahawk. Taking a weapon, she killed ten of the sleep- 
ing Indians, only one wounded squaw escaping. Bringing 
away the scalps on her arm to prove her wonderful story, she 
hastened with her companions to the river bank, unloosed a canoe, 
and was ere long restored to her astonished family. 

On the last night of February, 1704, while the snow was four 
feet deep, a party of about three hundred and fifty French and 
Indians reached a pine forest near Deerfield, Massachusetts. 
Skulking about till the unfaithful sentinels deserted the morning 
watch, they rushed upon the defenceless slumberers, who awoke 
from their dreams to death or captivity. Leaving behind the 
blazing village with forty-seven dead bodies to be consumed amid 


the wreck, they started back with their train of one hundred and 
twelve captives. The horrors of that winter march through the 
wilderness can never be told. The groan of helpless exhaustion, 
or the wail of suffering childhood, was instantly stilled by the piti- 
less tomahawk. Mrs. Williams, the feeble wife of the minister, 
had remembered her Bible in the midst of surprise, and comforted 
herself with its promises, till, her strength failing, she commended 
her five captive children to God and bent to the savage blow of 
the war-axe. One of her daughters grew up in captivity, em- 



74 COLONIAL WARS. [1750. 

braced the Catholic faith, and became the wife of a chief. Years 
after, dressed in Indian costume and accompanied by her warrior 
husband, she visited her friends in Deerfield. The whole village 
joined in a fast for her deliverance, and every persuasion was 
used to induce her to abandon her forest life ; but her heart clung 
fondly to her dusky friends and her own Indian children, and she 
went back to the fires of her wigwam, and died a faithful Mo- 

Such scenes of horror inspired the colonists with intense 
hatred toward the Indians and their French allies. A bounty as 
high as fifty pounds was offered for every Indian scalp, and expedi- 
tions were sent against the French strongholds. Two disastrous 
attempts were made to invade Canada ; Port Royal was captured 
and became a British station under the name of Annapolis ; and, 
finally, Louisburg was taken. This had been called the " Gib- 
raltar of America," and its fortifications cost five million dollars. 
It quickly fell, however, before the rude attacks of General Pep- 
perell's army of four thousand undisciplined farmers and fishermen. 
The last words of Whitefield, then in Boston, to the little army as 
it set sail, had been, " Nothing is to be despaired of when Christ is 
the leader." When the army came inside the city and beheld the 
almost impregnable fortifications captured so easily, they were 
dismayed at the very magnitude of their triumph. It seemed to 
those sturdy Puritans as if God indeed were on their side, and by 
Him alone had they won the day. 

By the middle of the eighteenth century the French had sixty 
fortified posts guarding the line of their possessions from Quebec 
to New Orleans. They were determined to hold all west of 
the Alleghanies, and to make of New France a mighty empire 
watered by the St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi. 
Every fountain which bubbled on the west side of the Alle- 
ghanies was claimed as being within the French Empire. But 
" while De Bienville was burying plates of lead engraved with 
the arms of France, the ploughs and axes of Virginia woodsmen 
were enforcing a surer title." The final conflict was at hand. 
The English settlers, pushing westward from the Atlantic, and 
the French fur-traders and soldiers coming down from the north, 
began to meet along the Ohio river. The French would admit 
no intruders. Surveyors were driven back. A post on the 
Monongahcla was destroyed. As there was just now a lull in na- 
tional hostilities on account of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), 




George Washington, a promising young man of twenty-one, was 
sent by Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, to demand 
an explanation from the French. Washington set out on his peril- 


ous journev the same day on which he received his credentials. 
He found St. Pierre, the French commandant at Fort le Bceuf 
very polite but very firm. It was clear that France was deter- 
mined to hold the territory explored by the heroic La Salle and 
Marquette. The shore in front of the fort was even then lined 
with canoes ready for an intended expedition down the river. 
Washington's return through the wilderness, a distance of four 
nundred miles, was full of peril. The streams were swollen. The 
snow was falling, and freezing as it fell. The horses gave out, and 
he was forced to proceed on foot. With only one companion he 
quitted the usual path, and, with the compass as his guide, struck 
boldly out through the forest. An Indian, lying in wait, fired at 
him only a few paces off, but missing, was captured. Attempting 
to cross the Alleghany on a rude raft, they were caught in the 
trembling ice. Washington thrust out his pole to check the 
speed, but was jerked into the foaming water. Swimming to an 
island, he barely saved his life. Fortunately, in the morning the 
river \vas frozen over, and he escaped on the ice. He at last 
reached home unharmed, and reported St. Pierre's avowed de- 

7 6 



termination to abide by the orders under which he declared him- 

The next spring, a regiment of Virginia troops under Colonel 
Frye, Washington being second in command, was sent to occupy 
the fork of the Alleghany and Monongahela Rivers. Learning 
that the French had anticipated them and already erected a fort 
called Du Quesne at that point, Washington hastened forward to 
reconnoitre. Jumonville, who was hiding among the rocks with 
a detachment of French troops waiting an opportunity to attack 
him, was himself surprised and slain. Colonel Frye dying soon 
after, Washington assumed command, and collected' his forces at 
the Great Meadows, behind a rude stockade, which was aptly 
named Fort Necessity. Here he was attacked by a large body 
of French and Indians, and after a severe conflict was compelled 
to capitulate. 

The contest for the possession of the continent was now 
evidently at hand. The crisis was imminent. A convention of 
commissioners from all the colonies north of the Potomac was in 
session at Albany to concert measures of defence. A union of the 
colonies seemed absolutely necessary. 

Benjamin Franklin now came to the front. He was well 
known as the author of " Poor Richard's Almanac," which he 

had published for upwards of twenty 
years, and which had attained great 
popularity in Europe as well as 
America. Risen from a poor boy, 
his industry and native talent had 
already procured for him consider- 
able fortune, and he had just begun 
those experiments in electricity which 
were afterwards to render his name 
immortal. To this philosopher and 
statesman the convention at Albany 
deputed the task of drawing up a 
plan for the proposed confederation. 
There was to be a governor-general 
appointed by the king, and a grand 
council elected by the colonial assemblies. After much discus- 
sion the scheme was adopted, but, curiously enough, was rejected 
by the king because it gave too much power to the people ; and 
by the people, as giving too much power to the crown. 





The following year, an expedition of English and colonial 
troops set out under General Braddock, Washington acting as 
aide-de-camp, against Fort Du Quesne. As the army toiled 
through the wilderness, one hundred axemen laboriously hewed 
a path before it, while the gloom of the forest hemmed it in on 
every side. The general was a regular British officer, proud and 
conceited. " The Indians," said he, " may frighten continental 
troops, but they can make no impression on the king's regulars ! " 


Washington warned him 
of the dangers of savage 
warfare, but his sugges- 
tions were received with 
contempt. The column 
came within ten miles of 
the fort, marching along 
the Monongahela in reg- 
ular array, drums beating and colors flying. Suddenly, in as- 
cending a little slope, with a deep ravine and thick underbrush 
jn either hand, they encountered the Indians lying in ambush. 
The terrible war-whoop resounded on every side. The British 
regulars huddled together, and, frightened, fired by platoons, at 


78 COLONIAL WARS. [1755 

random, against rocks and trees. The Virginia troops alone 
sprang into the forest and fought the savages in Indian style. 
Washington seemed everywhere present. An Indian chief with 
his braves especially singled him out. Four balls passed through 
his clothes, and two horses were shot under him. Braddock was 
mortally wounded and borne from the field. At last, when the 
continental troops were nearly all killed, the regulars turned and 
fled disgracefully, abandoning everything to the foe. Washington 
covered their flight and saved the wreck of the army from pursuit. 
While this disgrace befell the English arms on the west, far 
in the north they were being tarnished by an act of heartless 
cruelty. A bcdy of troops sent out against Acadia (Nova Scotia" 1 
easily captured the petty forts on the Bay of Fundy. The 
Acadians, a rural, simple-minded people, wished to be left to till 
their farms in peace. They gladly gave up their arms and 
promised to remain neutral. Refusing, however, to take the oath 
of allegiance to King George II., their houses were fired and 
they driven on board ship at the point of the bayonet. In the 
confusion of a forced embarkation, wives were separated from 
husbands and children from parents, never again in this world to 
be reunited. Seven thousand of these helpless people were dis- 
tributed through the colonies from Maine to Georgia. 

" Scattered were they, like flakes of snow, when the wind from the North-east 
Strikes aslant through the fogs that darken the Banks of Newfoundland. 
Friendless, homeless, hopeless, they wandered from city to city, 
From the cold lakes of the North to sultry Southern Savannas, — 
From the bleak shores of the sea to the lands where the Father of Waters 
Seizes the hills in his hands and drags them down to the ocean, 
Deep in their sands to bury the scattered bones of the mammoth. 
Friends they sought and homes ; and many, despairing, heart-broken, 
Asked of the earth but a grave, and no longer a friend nor a fireside." 

For years the colonial newspapers contained advertisements 
of these scattered exiles, seeking reunion with their lost ones. 
That they might not wander back to their old home, it was utterl] 
desolated. The humble household relics, dear to their simple 
hearts, perished in the flames. Cattle, sheep, and horse< were 
seized as spoils by their cruel conquerors. " There was none left 
round the ashes of the cottages of the Acadians but the faithful 
watch-dog, vainly seeking the hands that fed him. Thickets of 
forest trees choked their orchards; the ocean broke over their 
neglected dikes and desolated their meadows." Such was ;r 


fate of the simple Acadian peasants, about which Longfellow has 
woven his sweet and imperishable story of Evangeline. 

About the same time as Braddock's defeat, a force under 
William Johnson was sent against the fort at Crown Point. He 
met the French under General Dieskau near the head of Lake 
George. After a hot engagement, the French regulars were 
defeated by the backwoods riflemen and their gallant com- 
mander severely wounded. In the pursuit, Dieskau was found 
by a soldier leaning against a stump. As he was fumbling for 
his watch with which to propitiate his captor, the soldier, think- 
ing him to be searching for his pistol, shot him. The refugees 
from the battle fell into an ambuscade of some New York and New 
Hampshire rangers and were utterly routed. This memorable 
conflict, says Parkman, has cast its dark associations over one of 
the most beautiful spots in America. Near the scene of the 
evening fight, a pool, half overgrown by weeds and water-lilies, 
and darkened by the surrounding forest, is pointed out to the 
tourist, and he is told that beneath its stagnant waters lie the 
bones of three hundred Frenchmen, deep buried in mud and 
slime. Johnson, however, gained nothing by his victory, but 
loitered away the autumn in building Fort William Henry. 

Two years of disaster followed. In 1756, the French, under 
Montcalm, captured Fort Oswego with its valuable stores. The 
missionaries planted a cross on the spot, labeled, " This is the 
banner of victory ;" and by its side was placed a pillar bearing 
the arms of France and the inscription, " Bring lilies with full 

The following year Fort William Henry was forced to capit- 
ulate. The English were guaranteed a safe escort to Fort Ed- 
ward. They had scarcely left the fort, however, when the Indians 
fell upon them to plunder and slaughter. In vain did the French 
officers peril their lives to save their captives from the lawless 
tomahawk. " Kill me," cried Montcalm, in desperation, " but 
spare the English, who are under my protection." But the In- 
dian fury was implacable, and the march of the prisoners to Fort 
Edward became a flight for life. 

With 1758 dawned a brighter day. William Pitt, the warm 
friend of the colonies, was now Prime Minister of England. An 
army of fifty thousand men was raised, twenty-two thousand 
British regulars and twenty-eight thousand colonial troops. This 
was equal to half the entire population of New France. Fort Du* 




Quesne was captured, and as the English flag floated in triumph 
over the ramparts, this gateway to the West received the name 
of Pittsburg. The success was mainly due to the exertions of 
Washington. On his return he was elected to the House of 
Burgesses. As he took his seat, the Speaker, in the name of Vir- 
ginia, publicly returned thanks to him for his services to his 
country. Washington, taken by surprise, rose to reply. Blush- 
ing and trembling, he found himself unable to utter a word. 
" Sit down, Mr. Washington," interposed the Speaker, with a 
smile of regard ; " your modesty equals your valor, and that sur- 
passes the power of any language I possess." 

Louisburg, which had been given up to the French by treaty, 
was retaken during this campaign. General Abercrombie, how- 
ever, though he had the largest 
army yet raised in the provinces 
— fifteen thousand men — was dis- 
astrously driven back from before 
Fort Ticonderoga. The wanderer 
in Westminster Abbey to-day finds 
the memory of Lord Howe, who 
fell in this repulse, perpetuated by 
a tablet erected in his honor by the 
Assembly of Massachusetts. 

The next campaign (1759) was 
destined to be decisive. Montcalm 
had received no reinforcements 
from home ; Canada was impover- 
ished and food was scarce, so that 
even the garrison in Quebec had 
daily rations of but half a pound 
of bread, and the inhabitants were 
forced to be content with two 
ounces. Forts Niagara, Crown 
Point, and Ticonderoga, feebly defended by the French, were 
soon taken. Meanwhile General Wolfe, sailing up the St. Law- 
rence, struck a more vital blow. With a formidable fleet and 
eight thousand men, he laid siege to Quebec. The citadel, 
however, far above the reach of their cannon, and the craggy 
bluff, bristling with guns, for a time repulsed every effort. At 
length he discovered a narrow path leading up the steep preci- 
pice. Here he determined to land his troops, ascend to the 




plain above, and compel Montcalm to come out of his intrench, 
ments and give battle. Sailing- several miles up the river, he dis- 


embarked his men. That clear, starry night, as they dropped 
down with the tide in their boats, Wolfr, who was just recover- 
ing from a severe illness, softly repeated the stanzas of a new 
poem which he had lately received from England. Like a mourn- 
ful prophecy, above the gentle rippling of the waters, floated ths 
strangely significant words from the lips of the doomed hero : 

" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike the inevitable hour : 

The paths of glory lead but to the grave."— Gray's Elegy. 

" Gentlemen," said he, as he closed the recital, " I would rather 
be the author of that poem than to have the glory of beating the 
French to-morrow." 

Having reached the landing-place, his men, clambering up the 
steep cliff, quickly dispersed the guard, and at day-break he stood 
with his entire army drawn up in order of battle on the Plains of 
Abraham. Montcalm, astonished at the audacity of the attempt, 
could scarcely believe it possible. When convinced of its truth 
he at once made an impetuous attack. Wolfe's veterans held 
their fire until the French were close at hand, then poured upon 

82 COLONIAL WARS. [1759. 

them rapid, steady volleys. The enemy wavered. Wolfe, placing 
himself at the head, now ordered a bayonet charge. Already 
twice wounded, he still pushed forward. A third ball struck him. 
He was carried to the rear. " They run ! They run !" exclaimed 
the officer on whom he leaned. " Who run?" he faintly gasped. 
" The French," was the reply. " Now God be praised, I die 
happy," murmured the expiring hero. Montcalm, too, was 
fatally wounded as he was vainly trying to rally the fugitives. 
On being told by the surgeon that he could not live more than 
twelve hours, he answered, " So much the better. I shall not see 
the surrender of Quebec." 

One knows not which of these two heroes to admire the more. 
Posterity has honored both alike. A monument inscribed Wolfe 
AND Montcalm stands to their memory in the Governor's Garden 
at Quebec. The surrender of the city quickly followed the defeat 
of its army. The next year the fleur-de-lis was lowered on the 
flagstaff of Montreal, and the cross of St. George took its place. 
Peace was made at Paris, 1763. France gave up all the country 
vest of the Mississippi to Spain, who, in turn, ceded Florida to 
England. The British flag now waved over the continent from 
the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf, and from the Atlantic on the east to 
the " Great River" on the west. The French had lost their foot- 
hold in the New World forever. 

The English, however, were not left in quiet possession of 
their vast inheritance. The Indian tribes of the West soon 
became restive under their new and harsher masters. Pontiac, 
head of the Ottawas, an able, cunning, and ambitious chieftain, 
organized a wide-spread conspiracy for the simultaneous destruc- 
tion of the British garrisons. All the Indian shrewdness was ex- 
ercised in accomplishing this design. At Maumee, a squaw lured 
forth the commander by imploring aid for an Indian woman dying 
outside the fort. Once without, he was at the mercy of the am- 
bushed savages. At Mackinaw, hundreds of Indians had gathered. 
Commencing a game of ball, one party drove the other, as if by 
accident, toward the fort. The soldiers were attracted to watch 
the game. At length the ball was thrown over the pickets, and 
the Indians jumping after it, began the terrible butchery. The 
commander, Major Henry, writing in his room, heard the war- 
cry and the shrieks of the victims, and rushing to his window 
beheld the savage work of the tomahawk and the scalping-knife. 
Amid untold perils he himself escaped. At Detroit, the plot was 




betrayed, it is said, by a squaw who was friendly to Major Glad- 
win, the English commander, and when the chiefs were admitted 
to their proposed council for " brightening the chain of friend- 
ship," they found themselves surrounded by an armed garrison. 
Pontiac was allowed to escape. Two days after, he commenced 
a siege which lasted several months. Eight forts were thus cap- 
tured. Thousands of settlers along the borders fled to escape the 
scalping-knife. Finally, the Indian confederacy was broken up, 
and Pontiac, fleeing westward, was assassinated while endeavor- 
ing to unite his dusky allies in another attempt to recover th^r 
ancient hunting-grounds. 

The contest which had given America to England really con- 
ferred it upon the colonists. From the issue of the old French 
and Indian war, date the thought of independence and the ability/ 
to achieve it. A struggle against a common foe had knit the scat- 
tered colonists together. Sectional jealousies had been measur- 
ably allayed. The colonies had come to know their own strength. 
The emergency had forced them to. think and act independently 
of the mother country, to raise men and money, and to use them 
as they pleased. Minds work fast in hours of peril, and demo- 
cratic ideas had taken deep root in these troublesome times. 
Colonial and regular officers had belonged to the same army ; 
and although, while on parade, the British affected to ridicule the 
awkward provincial, he often owed all his laurels, and sometimes 
even his safety, on the field of battle, to the prudence and valor or 
his despised companion. Washington, Gates, Montgomery, Stark, 
Arnold, Rogers, Morgan, Putnam, and a score of others, had been 
in training during these years, and had learned how to meet evdi 
British regulars when the time came. 




HE thirteen colonies now (1774*) 
numbered about two million 
white inhabitants and five 
hundred thousand negroes — 
mostly slaves. They were 
mainly scattered along the 
sea-coast and the great riv- 
ers, with occasional groups of 
settlements pushed into the 
backwoods beyond. Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, and 
Connecticut had charter gov- 
ernments. Maryland and 
Pennsylvania (with Delaware) 
were proprietary — that is, their proprietors governed the.m. 
Georgia, Virginia, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and 
the Carolinas were directly subject to the crown. Boston and 
Philadelphia were the principal cities, each having not far from 
twenty thousand inhabitants. New York contained a population 
of about twelve thousand, the houses not yet being numbered. 
Charleston had about eighteen thousand. Baltimore and Lan- 
caster (Pennsylvania) had each about six thousand. Agricul- 
ture was the main employment of the people. Manufactures, 
however, even at this early period, received much attention 
at the North. Hats, paper, shoes, household furniture, farming 
utensils, and the coarser kinds of cutlery were made to some 
extent. In an advertisement of 1769, we read: "The Bell 
Cart will go through Boston before the end of next month 
to collect rags for the Paper Mill at Milton, when all people that 
will encourage the Paper Manufactory may dispose of them." 
Cloth- weaving had been introduced, although most thrifty 
people wove their own, and every frugal housewife expected 


to dress her family in homespun. In 1753, the Society for 
Promoting Industry among the Poor, at its anniversary, ex- 
hibited, on Boston Common, three hundred young spinsters, 
each with her wheel ; and a weaver, working at his loom, was 
carried through the streets on men's shoulders. Commerce 
had steadily increased — principally, however, as coast trade, in 
consequence of the oppressive laws of Great Britain. The daring 
fishermen of New England already pushed their whaling crafts 
far into the icy regions of the north. At the time of the Revolu- 
tion the exports of the colonies were about four million pounds 
sterling, and the imports three and a half millions ; the exports, 
per capita, being in 1769 nearly equal to those of 1869, and the 
imports over one-half as great. Money was scarce. Trade was 
by barter — a coat for a cow, or a barrel of sugar for a pile of 
boards. In 1635, bullets were given instead of farthings — the law 
not allowing over twelve in one payment. Massachusetts was 
the only colony to coin money. A mint was set up in 1652. For 
thirty years all the coins bore the 

same date. They are known as the Stf\W^\ X?W(§^\ 
pine-tree shillings, sixpences, etc. Mfa*!£&^\ ^§Pfefc?A 

pine-tree shillings, sixpences, etc. 

The following curious anecdote is /^^~€&^\f^l^r7T7 %?\ 

told concerning this coinage: -Sir X^^^/xh^d^! 
Thomas Temple, brother of Sir X^^ 
William Temple, resided several 
years in New England during the 

commonwealth. After the Restoration, when he returned to 
England, the king sent for him, and discoursed with him on the 
state of affairs in Massachusetts, and discovered great warmth 
against that colony. Among other things, he said they had in- 
vaded his prerogative by coining money. Sir Thomas, who was 
a real friend to the colony, told his Majesty that the colonists 
had but little acquaintance with law, and that they thought it no 
crime to make money for their own use. In the course of the 
conversation, Sir Thomas took some of the money out of his 
pocket, and presented it to the king. On one side of the coin 
was a pine-tree, of that kind which is thick and bushy at the top. 
Charles asked what tree that was. Sir Thomas informed him 
it was the royal oak which preserved his Majesty's life. This ac- 
count of the matter brought the king into good humor, and dis- 
posed him to hear what Sir Thomas had to say in their favor, 
calling them ' a parcel of honest dogs.' " 



The first printing-press was set up at Cambridge in 1639. The 
first book printed was the " Freeman's Oath," the second, an 
almanac, and the third a psalm-book. Most of the books of this 
day were collections of sermons. The first permanent newspaper. 
The Boston News Letter, was published in 1704. In 1750 there 
were only seven newspapers. The Federal Orrery, the first daily 
paper, was not issued till 1792. The first circulating library in 
America was established under Franklin's auspices at Philadel- 
phia in 1732. There was a public library in New York, from 
which books were loaned at four and a half pence per week. In 
1754, the Society Library was founded. Eleven years later there 
was a circulating library in Boston of twelve hundred volumes. 
As yet very few books had been printed here. Scarcely any 
American work was read in Europe. There was, however, a 
growing taste for literature and art. Jonathan Edwards's meta- 
physical writings and Franklin's philosophical treatises had 
excited much attention even in the Old World. West and 
Copley had already achieved a reputation as artists of ability and 

The usual mode of travel was on foot or horseback, the roads 
being poor, and as yet few bridges across the rivers. Chaises 
and gigs, however, were in use, with their high wheels, and bodies 
hung low on wooden springs. People along the coast journeyed 
largely by means of sloops navigated by a man and a boy. The 
trip from New York to Philadelphia occupied three days if the 
wind was fair. There was a wagon running bi-weekly from New 

York across New 
Jersey. Conveyan- 
ces were put on in 
1766, which made 
the unprecedented 
time of two days 
from New York to 
Philadelphia. They 
were, therefore, 
route was between 


termed " flying machines." The first stage 
Providence and Boston, taking two days for the trip. 

A post-office system had been effected by the combination 
of the colonies, which united the whole country. The rate of 
postage was fourpence for each letter if carried less than sixty 
miles, sixpence between sixty and a hundred and sixty miles, 


and twopence for every hundred miles thereafter. A mail was 
started in 1672, between New York and Boston, by way of Hart- 
ford. By contract the round trip was to be made monthly. 
Benjamin Franklin was one of the early postmasters -general. 
He made a grand tour of the country in his chaise, perfecting 
and maturing the plan. His daughter Sally accompanied him, 
riding sometimes by his side in the chaise, and sometimes on 
the extra horse which he had with him. It took five months 
to make the rounds which could now be performed in as many 

Education early made great progress. Under the eaves of the 
church the Puritans always built a school-house. The records of 
Boston contain the following: "The 13th of ye 2nd month, 1635. 
It was then generally agreed upon yt our brother Philemon Pur- 
mount shall be intreated to become schoolmaster for ye teaching 
and nourturing of all children with us." When the city was but 
six years old, four hundred pounds were appropriated to the semi- 
nary at Cambridge, now known as Harvard University. Some 
years after, each family gave a peck of corn or a shilling in cash for 
its support. In 1700, ten ministers, having previously so agreed, 
brought together a number of books, each saying as he laid down 
his gift, " I give these books for founding a college in Connecticut." 
This was the beginning of Yale College. It was first established 
at Saybrook, but in 1716 was removed to New Haven. It was 
named from Governor Yale, who befriended it most generously. 
Earlier than this, common schools had been provided, not, how- 
ever, free, but supported by voluntary offerings. In 1647, Massa- 
chusetts made the support of schools compulsory and education 
universal and free. We read that, in 1665, every town had a 
free school, and, if it contained over one hundred families, a gram- 
mar school. In Connecticut every town that did not keep a school 
for three months in the year was liable to a fine. 

The Middle Colonies had already their colleges and many 
humbler schools scattered through the towns. In the Dutch 
period it was usual for the schoolmaster, in order to increase 
his emoluments, to act as town-clerk, sexton, and chorister ; to 
ring the bell, dig graves, etc. ; somewhat after the custom still 
preserved in the country schools of Germany. Licenses were 
granted to schoolmasters for exclusive privileges. 

The following, given by an English governor, Lovelace, for Al- 
bany, then a mere rude hamlet, in 1670, is still preserved : Where- 


as, Jan Jeurians Beecker had a Graunt to keep y e Dutch school ai 
Albany for y e teaching of youth to read & to wryte y e which 
was allowed of and confirmed to him by my predecessor Coll. 
Richard Nicolls Notwithstanding which severall others not sa 
capable do undertake y e like some perticular tymes & seasons of 
y e yeare when they have no other Imployment, where by y e schol- 
lars removing from one Schoole to another do not onely give q 
great discouragement to y e maister who makes it his businesse all 
y e yeare but also are hindred & become y e more backwards in 
there learning ffor y e reasons aforesaid I have thought fitt that y e 
said Jan Jeurians Beecker who is esteemed very capable that way 
shall be y e allowed schoolmaster for y e instructing of y c youth at 
Albany & partes adjacent he following y e said Imployment Con- 
stantly & diligently & that no other be admitted to interrupt him 
It being to be presumed that y e said Beecker for y e youth & 
Jacob Joosten who is allowed of for y e teaching of y e younger 
children are sufficient for that place. 

Given under my hand at fifort James in New-Yorke this 16th 
day of May 1670. 

In the English period some of the New York schools were 
kept by Dutch masters, who taught English as an accomplish- 
ment. In 1702, an act was passed for the " Encouragement of a 
Grammar Free School in the City of New York." Kings (now 
Columbia) College, was chartered in 1754. It is a noticeable fact 
that the astronomical instrument known as the Orrery, invented 
by Dr. Rittenhouse in 1768, is still preserved in Princeton College. 
No European institution had its equal. At Lewiston, Delaware, 
is said to have been established the first girls' school in the col- 
onies. The first school in Pennsylvania was started about 1683, 
where "reading, writing, and casting accounts" were taught, for 
eight English shillings per annum. 

The Southern Colonies met with great difficulties in their efforts 
to establish schools. Though Virginia boasts of the second oldest 
college in the Union, yet her English governors bitterly opposed 
the progress of education. Governor Berkeley, of whose haughty 
spirit we have already heard, said, " I thank God there are no free 
schools nor printing-presses here, and I hope we shall not have 
them these hundred years." The restrictions upon the press were 
so great that no newspaper was published in Virginia until 1736, 
and that was controlled by the government. Free schools wen? 


8 9 

established in Maryland in 1696, and a free school in Charleston, 
South Carolina, in 171 2. Private schools were early established 
by the colonists in every 
neighborhood. The rich- 
er planters commonly sent 
their sons to England to 
be educated. 

At the opening of the 
Revolution there were nine 
colleges in the colonies 
Harvard, founded 1636 
William and Mary, 1693 
Yale, 1700; Princeton, 
1746; University of Penn- 
sylvania, 1749; Columbia, 
1754; Brown University, 
1764; Dartmouth, 1769; 
Rutgers, 1770. There was 
no law or theological 

school, although a medical school had been founded in Philadel- 
phia 1762, and one in New York 1769. 



The New England character was marked by severe integrity. 
Conduct was shaped by a literal interpretation of the Scriptures. 
Private morals were carefully watched by the authorities in 
church and state. In the earliest times the ministers had almost 
entire control, and a church reproof was considered the heaviest 
disgrace. But something further was soon found necessary for 
less tender consciences and more flagrant offenders. A man was 
whipped for shooting fowl on Sunday. The swearer was made 
to meditate over his sin, standing in a public place with his 
tongue in a cleft stick ; sometimes he was fined twelve pence, or 
set in the stocks, or imprisoned, " according to the nature and 
quality of the person." In exaggerated offences, the unruly 
member was bored through with a hot iron. Minor transgres- 
sions of the tongue were not winked at, and the unhappy house- 




wife, whose temper got the better of her wisdom, had sorry 
leisure for repentance. " Scolds," says Josselyn, writing of the 

old " Body of Laws of 1646," 
" they gag and set them at 
their doors for certain hours, 
for all comers and goers by 
to gaze at." " Ducking in 
running water " is also men- 
tioned as a punishment for 
this class of offenders. Philip 
Ratcliffe, of the colony, was 
sentenced to " be whipped, 
have his ears cut off, fined 
forty shillings, and banished 
out of the limits of the juris- 
diction, for uttering mali- 
cious and scandalous speeches 
against the government and 
the church of Salem." As 
to the " prophanely behaved " 
person, who lingered " without dores att the meeting-house on 
the Lord's daies," to indulge in social chat or even to steal a 
quiet nap, he was " admonished " by the constables ; on a second 
offence " sett in the stockes," and if 
his moral sense was still perverted, he 
was cited before the court. If any man 
should dare to interrupt the preach- 
ing or falsely charge the minister with 
error, " in the open face of the church," 
or otherwise make " God's wayes con- 
temptible and ridiculous, — every such 
person or persons (whatsoever censure 
the church may passe) shall for the first 
scandall bee convented and reproved 

openly by the magistrates at some Lecture, and bound to their 
good behaviour. And if the second time they breake forth into 
the like contemptuous carriages, they shall either pay five pounds 
to the publique Treasure or stand two houres openly upon a block 
or stoole four foott high uppon a Lecture day, with a paper fixed 
on his Breast, written with capitalle letters, An open and obstinate 
contemner of God's holy ordinances." 



The first " meeting-houses " consisted of a single room, per- 
haps twenty by thirty-six feet in size and twelve feet high " in the 
stud." The roof was either shingled or thatched with long 
grass. It was a great advance when they were able to have it 
" lathed on the inside, and so daubed and whitened over, work- 
manlike." They were afterwards built with a pyramidal roof, 
crowned with a belfry. The bell-rope hung from the centre, and 
the sexton performed his office half way between the pulpit and 
the large entrance door. Such a meeting-house, built in 1681, 
still stands in Hingham, Massachusetts. 

In the early Plymouth days every house opened on Sunday 
morning at the tap of the drum. The men in " sad colored man- 
tles," and armed to the teeth, the women in sober gowns, 
kerchiefs and hoods, all assembled in front of the captain's house. 
Three abreast, they marched up the hill to the meeting-house, 
where every man set down his musket within easy reach. The 
elders and deacons took their seat 
in a " long pue " in front of the 
preacher's desk, facing the congre- 
gation. The old men, the young 
men, and the young women each 
had their separate place. The 
boys were gravely perched on the 
pulpit-stairs or in the galleries, and 
had a constable or tithing-man to 
keep them in order. The light 
came straggling through the little 
diamond -shaped window-panes, 
weirdly gilding the wolf-heads 
which hung upon the walls — tro- 
phies of the year's conquests. As 

glass was scarce, oiled paper was sometimes used in its stead. The 
service began with the long prayer, and was followed by reading 
and expounding of the Scriptures, a psalm — lined by one of the 
ruling elders — from Ainsworth's Version, which the colonists 
brought over with them, and the sermon. Instrumental music 
was absolutely proscribed, as condemned by the text (Amos v. 23), 
" I will not hear the melody of thy viols" ; and one tune for each 
metre was all those good old fathers needed. Those now known 
as York, Hackney, Windsor, St. Mary's, and Martyrs were the 
standard stock, and they were intoned with a devout zeal almost 

HARTFORD, 1638. 


forgotten in these modern times of organs and trained choirs. 
The approved length of the sermon was an hour, and the sexton 
turned the hour-glass which stood upon the desk before the min- 
ister. But woe to the unlucky youngster whose eyelids drooped 
in slumber ! The ever-vigilant constables, with their wands 
tipped on one extremity with the foot and on the other with the 
tail of a hare, brought the heavier end down sharply on the little 
nodding, flaxen head. The careworn matron who was betrayed 
into a like offence was gently reminded of her duty by a touch 
on the forehead with the softer end of the same stick. After the 
sermon came the weekly contribution. The congregation, 
sternly solemn, marched to the front, the chief men or magis- 
trates first, and deposited their offerings in the money-box held 
by one of the elders or deacons. The occupants of the galleries 
also came down, and marching two abreast, up one aisle and 
down another, paid respect to the church treasury in money, 
paper promises, or articles of value, according to their ability. 
Among other provisions made or recommended for the support 
of the pastor, we find the following: " 1662. The court proposeth 
it as a thing they judge would be very commendable & bene- 
ficiall to the townes where God's providence shall cast any 
whales, if they should agree to sett apart some p'te of every 
such fish or oyle for the incouragement of an able and godly 
minister amongst them." 

A search among the old colonial records is rewarded by 
curious glimpses of Puritan character. Old bachelors seem to 
have been held by the fathers in small respect, and on account of 
the " great inconvenience " arising from their anomalous condition, 
it was ordered that " henceforth noe single p'sons be suffered to live 
of himself or in any family, but as the celect men of the towne 
shall approve of." No youth under twenty-one should " take any 
tobacko untill hee had brought a certificate under the hands of 
some who are approved for knowledge and skill in phisick, that it 
is useful for him, and also that he hath received a lycense from 
the courte for the same." We read of fines for the juryman who 
should indulge in tobacco the same day of rendering verdict ; 
also for all persons — except soldiers on training days — who used 
it " in very uncivil manner publickly " in the streets ; or " within 
ten miles of any house, and then not more than once a day " ; 
penalties for the " bringing in to the colony of any Quaker, 
Rantor, or other notorious heritiques," and, strangest of all to 


the eyes of the active, wire-pulling politician of to-day, a law 
that any who " were elected to the office of Governor, and would 
not stand to the election, nor hold and execute the office for his 
year," should " be amerced in Twenty pounds sterling fine," as 
the price of his modesty or contumacy ! O for the refreshing 
shadow of our great-grandfathers to overhang the nineteenth 
century caucus ! 

Fast and thanksgiving were the great public days. A fast-day 
was regularly kept at the season of annual planting ; but days of 
fasting and prayer were often appointed on account of some special 
or threatened calamity. In 1644, one day in every month was or- 
deied to be thus observed. Excellent care, however, was always 
taken to avoid a fast on Good Friday, as well as to keep clear of 
a feast on Christmas. Our Puritan forefathers were rigidly jeal- 
ous of the slightest concession to " Popish " customs. We cannot 
suppress a smile when we read that, not content with denying the 
title of " Saint " to the apostles and ancient Christian fathers, they 
even refused to speak it when applied to places. " The Island of 
St. Christophers was always wrote Christophers, and by the same 
rule all other places to which Saint had been prefixed. If any 
exception was made, an answer was ready : Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob had as good right to this appellation as Peter, James, and 
John." " Because," says Lechford, " they would avoid all 
memory of heathenish and idols' names," they designated the 
days of the week and the months of the year by numbers. 
March was the first month, and Sunday or Sabbath, as they 
styled it, the first day. Morton, who complained before the 
Lords Commissioners of the Plantations in England of some of 
the Puritan ways, especially marriages by magistrates, says, 
" The people of New Engiand hold the use of a ring in marriage 
to be a relique of popery, a diabolical circle for the Devell to 
daunce in." 

Whatever cheer was lost, from conscientious scruples, at 
Christmas-tide, was made up on Thanksgiving day, especially in 
Connecticut. From its first celebration, eighteen years after the 
Mayflower landing, it was the great social event of the whole 
twelve months. The growing family was gathered, from far and 
near, and clustering round the paternal hearthstone, forgot every 
trial in the joys of kinship. For days before it came, the plump- 
est fowls, the yellowest pumpkins, and the finest of vegetables 
were marked and put aside. The stalled ox and the fatted calf 


were killed. When the glad morning arrived a happy flutter 
pervaded every home. Children's feet pattered over the old farm- 
house from cellar to garret and made the rafters echo with their 
noisy glee. " Sometimes there were so many that the house 
would scarcely hold them ; but the dear old grandmother, whose 
memory could hardly keep the constantly lengthening record of 
their births, and whose eye, dim with tears and age, could never 
see which child to love the best, welcomed each with a trembling 
hand and overflowing heart." — (Hollistcr s Hist, of Conn.) After 
the public service, came the generous dinner ; and then all gath- 
ered around the blazing hickory fire to listen to the joys and 
perils of the year. As the little eyes grew sleepy and fair heads 
began to nod with very weariness of enjoyment, the old family 
Bible was brought out, and the day was closed with a fervent 
thanksgiving for mercies past and supplications for the future. 
Huskings, apple-parings, and quiltings were also favorite occa- 
sions for social gathering. Governor Winthrop prohibited cards 
and gaming-tables. Dancing, however, was not entirely for- 
bidden in New England circles, for we read that it was long the 
custom in Connecticut for the young people of a parish to cele- 
brate the settlement of the new minister by an ordination ball. 
But these gradually fell into disrepute, and were at last sup- 
pressed by public sentiment. 

The houses of most of the first settlers were, of necessity, 
primitive — a log cabin, often of a single room, with an immense 
chimney built externally at its side. The chinks between the 
logs were " daubed," as the term was, with a mortar of clay 
and straw. Tall grass, gathered along the beaches, was largely 
used for the thatching of roofs. There were not wanting, 
however, some " fair and stately houses," for which the New 
Haven people were reproved as having " laid out too much of 
their stocks and estates" in them. One Isaac Allerton, especially, 
is mentioned as having " built a grand house on the creek, with 
four porches." Governor Coddington built a brick house in 
Boston before he went thence to found his colony. Rev. Mr. 
Whitefield's stone house in Guilford, Conn., has endured two hun- 
dred and thirty-seven years, and is the oldest house, standing 
as originally built, in the United States, north of Florida. After 
thirty years, a better class of dwellings began to be more com- 
mon. They were usually made of heavy oak frames, put together 
in the most solid manner, and made secure at night by massive 




wooden bars. After the Indians and wild beasts had been driven 
back by increased settlement, bolts and bars fell into disuse. The 
foundations of the huge 
old stone chimneys were 
about twelve feet square. 
Forest logs four feet in 
length were piled upon 
the ponderous andirons, 
and on occasions a big 
"back -log" was drawn 
into the house by a horse, 
and then rolled into the 
fireplace with hand-spikes. 
"Blazing hearthstones" 
had then a meaning at 
which, in our days of fur- 
naces and steam -pipes, 
we can only guess. No 
need for artificial venti- 
lators when, through the 

crevices of the building, swept such keen, brisk currents of air. 
In the morning the farmer and his family sat down to their break- 
fast of " bean porridge," or boiled cornmeal and milk, with a 
healthy appetite. Beer, cider, or cold water furnished their usual 
beverage ; for tea and coffee were unknown in New England 
homes in the seventeenth century. " Rye and Indian " was the 
staff of life on which they leaned the most. We can fancy a New 
England table of those early days, with its pewter dishes, bright- 
ened to their utmost polish, and, in the wealthier households, here 
and there a silver beaker or tankard, the heirloom of the family. 
The dinner, which is at noon, opens with a large Indian pudding 
— ground corn sweetened with molasses — accompanied by an 
appropriate sauce ; next come boiled beef and pork ; then 
wild game with potatoes, followed by turnips and samp or succo- 
tash. Pumpkins were served in various ways. Supper was also 
a substantial meal, though generally eaten cold. Baked beans, 
baked Indian pudding, and newly-baked rye and Indian bread 
were standard dishes for Wednesday, " after the washing and 
ironing agonies of Monday and Tuesday " ; salt fish on Saturday, 
but never on Friday, the " Popish " fast-day ; and boiled Indian 
pudding, with roast beef for those who could get it, on Sunday. 


Although, from the scarcity of laborers, the proprietors toiled 
often in the same fields with the servants they had brought over 
from Old England, it must not be supposed that there were no 
grades or degrees in society. Titles, however, were used spar- 
ingly. Even that of Reverend does not seem to have been in use 
for at least a half century after the Mayflower touched port — the 
minister being addressed and recorded as Mr., Pastor, Teacher, 
or Elder. The first prefix, in fact, indicated much more in old 
colonial times than at present. Clergymen, the more distin- 
guished members of the General Court, highly-born and Univer- 
sity-bred men alone, were honored with it. Young men, of what- 
ever rank, were seldom granted it. To be called Mr., or to have 
one's name recorded by the secretary with that prefix, two hun- 
dred years ago, was a pretty certain index of the person's rank as 
respects birth, education, and moral character. As for the com- 
mon people above the grade of servants, the yeomen, tenants, 
owners of small estates, and even many deputies to the Genera". 
Court, they were content with the appellation of Goodman, thei 
wives receiving the corresponding one of Goodwife. The title ci 
Sir was often given to undergraduates at a university or college 
who belonged to distinguished families. " Hence a son of Gov- 
ernor Winthrop, Mr. Sherman, or Governor Treat, returning 
home from Yale or Cambridge to spend a vacation, would be 
greeted by his old companions as Sir Winthrop, Sir Sherman, or 
Sir Treat." The Esquire or Squire was added or prefixed to de- 
scendants of the English nobility, sons of baronets, knights, etc. 
Such titles as " the Honored," " the Worshipful," " the Worshipful 
and much Honored," sometimes occur prefixed to such names as 
John Winthrop, or Captain John Allyn. Military titles were 
especially reverenced, for a long time " Captain " being the highest 

Training-day was a great event. All the men from sixteen to 
sixty years of age were required to participate in the general drill. 
There does not appear to have been any uniform dress, and no 
music but that of the drum to inspirit the military movements ; 
but as every member of the militia practised for the defence of 
his own household, we can well imagine that there was lacking 
neither zest nor zeal. At Plymouth, by law, trainings were 
" always begun and ended with prayer." The pikemen — the tall- 
est and strongest in the colony — shouldered their pikes — ten feet 
in length, besides the spear at the end — with religious resolution; 



the musketeers firmly grasped their clumsy old matchlocks ; and 
the young Puritan boys looked on and sighed with envy, longing 
for the time when they, too, might wear helmet and. breastplate, 
or a cotton-stuffed coat to turn the Indian arrows. To be even 
a corporal in the militia was an honor which required an extra 



amount of humility to bear without danger to the soul. John 
Hull, a prosperous Boston merchant, chosen to that office in 1648, 
praises God for giving him " acceptance and favor in the eyes 
of His people, and, as a fruit thereof, advancement above his 

How would those ante-revolutionary fathers have stared at 
our swift express trains, our lines of telegraphic wires, and our 
pleasure-trips from Atlantic to Pacific shore ! Even a stage-coach 
was to them a luxury yet unknown. The fair bride accompanied 
her husband, gentleman or yeoman, on the wedding trip, from her 
father's house to his own home, wherever it might be, seated on 
a pillion behind him on his horse. She expected to prove a " help 
meet for him," as the minister's wedding counsels emphatically 
enjoined ; and in her traveling costume of possibly a plain blue and 
white gown, the product of her own industry, she was as lovely 
in her sturdy husband's eye as the daintiest of modern brides can 
ever hope to be. Indeed, her fresh, glowing cheeks, and plump, 
elastic form might well strike envy to the heart of many a modern 





belle. Notwithstanding the general simplicity of dress, however, 
in the early colonial times, great public days called out many an 
elegant costume. The rich articles of apparel brought over by 
the higher class 
of emigrants 
were carefully 
preserved, and 
lace ruffles, elab- 
orate embroid- 
ery, silk and vel- 
vet caps, and 
gold and silver 
shoe and knee 
buckles, made a 

gathering of wealthy colonists a 
much gayer affair than a black-coat- 
ed party of to-day. Tightly-fitting 
small-clothes and high hose, a coat 
extending to the knees and fastened 
in front with buttons, clasps, or hooks 

and eyes, its full skirts stiffened with buckram and the habit itself 
profusely decorated with gold lace, a plaited stock of fine linen 
cambric with a large silver buckle at the back of the neck, a 
broad-brimmed, high-crowned, sugar-loaf hat, beneath which fell 
the long, luxuriant curls of the bleached or powdered wig, and a 
fashionable red cloak, gave to the dignified New England father 
an air of unquestionable gentility. The skins of animals were much 
used for garments. In the inventory of a wealthy Connecticut 
settler, who died in 1649, are enumerated " two raccoon coats, one 
wolf-skin coat, four bear-skins, three moose." Sheep and deer 
skins did like service. The small-clothes usually fitted quite 
closely to the person, and " those men were thought very fortu- 
nate whose forms were such that they could wear small-clothes 
above the hips without appurtenances, and stockings above the 
calf of the leg without garters." The well-to-do matrons carried 
their long-trailed gowns, " liberally set off with flounces and fur- 
belows," gracefully over one arm, or had them "trolloped" in 
loops at the side, or let them sweep their full course — " from half 
a yard to a yard and a half" — along the floor. If in this they 
transgressed the statute which forbade any excess " beyond the 
necessary end 6f apparell for covering," some of them evidently 


fulfilled its requirements in the upper cut of their robes, for before 
the end of the seventeenth century we hear Boston denounced as 
a "lost town," because of its "strange and fantastick fashions and 
attire, naked backs and bare breasts." Not to be behind the 
sugar-loaf appendages which brought their husbands up in the 
world, the ladies appeared in towering head-dresses of crape, 
muslin, or lace. The distinctions in dress between the higher 
and lower ranks of society which marked the old country were 
jealously guarded here. But American air from the first seems 
to have been charged with independence, so that all who touched 
our shores felt more or less the influence of the electric current. 
The spirit of equal rights, born in the untamed forest and undis- 
turbed for centuries, refused to be banished its native haunts. It 
was, perhaps, as much an innocent ambition to rise in society as a 
mere love of finery which tempted the common people to ape the 
dress and condition of their betters in station. Before a score of 
years had passed, this tendency had become a source of anxiety to 
the careful colonial legislators. In 1640, it was ordered that as 
" divers Persons of severall Ranks are obsearved still to exceede " 
in their apparel, " the Constables of every towne within there 
Libertyes shall observe and take notice of any particular Person 
or Persons within thier several Lymits, and all such as they judge 
to exceede thier condition and Rank therein, they shall present 
and warn to appear at the particular Court." Among the pro- 
scribed articles appear "embroidered and needle -work caps," 
" gold and silver girdles," " immoderate great sleeves," and 
" slashed apparel." Rev. Nathaniel Ward, author of the " Body 
of Liberties," which was adopted (1641) as the code of laws for 
Massachusetts, and substantially for Connecticut, was sorely tried 
by the "female foppery" of the time. In a book entitled "The 
Simple Cobler of Agawam, in America, Willing to help Mend 
his Native Country, lamentably tattered, both in the Upper- 
leather and the Sole," etc., illustrative of colonial life and man- 
ners, he thus breaks forth : " I honour the woman that can honour 
herselfe with her attire ; a good text alwayes deserves a fair mar- 
gent ; I am not much offended if I see a trimme, far trimmer than 
she that wears it ; in a word, whatever Christianity or Civility 
will allow, I can afford with London measure ; but when I heare a 
nugiperous gentle dame inquire what dresse the Queen is in this 
week ; what the nudiustertian fashion of the Court ; I meane the 
very newest ; with egge to be in it in all haste, whatever it be ; I 


look at her as the very gizzard of a trifle, the product of a quarter 
of a cipher, the epitome of nothing, fitter to be kickt, if she were 
of a kickable substance, than either honour'd or humour'd. To 
speak moderately, I truly confesse, it is beyond the ken of my 
understanding to conceive how those women should have any 
true grace, or valuable vertue, that have so little wit as to dis- 
figure themselves with such exotick garbes, as not only dismantles 
their native lovely lustre, but transclouts them into gant bargeese 
ill-shapen — shotten — shell-fish, Egyptian Hyeroglyphicks, or at 
the best into French flurts of the pastery, which a proper English 
woman should scorne with her- heels; it is no marvell they weare 
drailes on the hinder part of their heads, having nothing as it 
seems in the fore part, but a few squirrils' brains to help them 
frisk from one ill-favored fashion to another." The evil seems 
not to have been remedied in 1676, for we find that still the 
"rising Generation" was "in danger to be corrupted" by an ex- 
cess in apparel, which is " testifyed against in God's holy Word," 
and it was therefore ordered that " what person soever shall wear 
Gold or Silver Lace, or Gold or Silver Buttons, Silk Ribbons, or 
other costly superfluous trimmings, or any bone Lace above three 
shillings per yard, or Silk Scarfes," should pay equal taxes with 
those whose rank or fortune allowed such privileges. The families 
of public and military officers, and "such whose quality and estate 
have been above the ordinary degree, though now decayed," were 
excepted from this decree. These good old fathers even went 
further in their restrictions : " It is further ordered that all such 
persons as shall for the future make, or weave, or buy any apparell 
exceeding the quality and condition of their persons and Estates, or 
that is apparently beyond the necessary end of apparell for cover- 
ing or comeliness, either of these to be Judged by the Grand Jury 
and County Court where such presentments are made, shall for- 
feit for every such offence ten shillings." 

These sumptuary laws were not a dead letter, for we hear that 
Alice Flynt's " silk hood " was cited before the court, and she re- 
quired to prove that she was entitled to wear it by her property 
of two hundred pounds; and of the "great boots" of Jonas Fair- 
banks, out of the shadow of whose guilt he managed to escape. 

The price of wages was also regulated by law, and it was settled 
( 1 64 1 ) that " carpenters, plowrights, wheelrights, masons, joyners, 
smithes, and coopers shall not take above twenty pence for a day's 
work from the 10th of March to the 10th of October, and not 


above eighteen pence a day for the other part of the yere, and to 
work ten hours in the day in the summer tyme, besides that which 
is spent in eating or sleeping, and six hours in the winter." The 
court, however, soon " found by experience that it would not avail 
by any law to redress the excessive rates of laborers' and work- 
men's wages, etc. ; for, being restrained, they would either remove 
to other places where they might have more, or else, being able 
to live by planting and other employments of their own, they 
would not be hired at all." — (Winthrop.) 


The followers of Hendrick Hudson were quite a different 
people. To the bustling energy and severe religious laws of 
New England they opposed an easy good nature and impertur- 
bable content. Only in the painfulness of extreme neatness did 
they resemble and even surpass their northern and eastern 
neighbors. Let us recall a comfortable Dutch mansion of the 
seventeenth century. Its gable-end of small black and yellow 
Dutch bricks, receding in regular steps from the base of the roof 
to the summit, and there crowned with a " fierce little weather- 
cock," stood squarely to the street. Not ashamed to let its age 
be known, it was proclaimed in straggling iron figures upon the 
front. The inevitable porch, elevated by a few steps, was covered 
by a wooden awning, or perhaps a lattice-work, over which 
luxuriantly drooped and wandered a wild grape-vine. Multi- 
tudes of wrens flitted in and out this sylvan nook, and, says a 
Scotch lady, reporting Albany life at this period, " while break- 
fasting or drinking tea in the airy portico, birds were constantly 
gliding over the table with a butterfly, grasshopper, or cicada in 
their bills to feed their young, who were chirping above." These 
porches were the universal rendezvous in the after-part of the 
day. The old people clustered together in one, the younger in 
another, and the children sat placidly on the steps and ate their 
bread and milk before retiring ; while the beaux sauntered along 
and cast shy glances toward their favorite maidens, or accepted 
an invitation to join the little group. The gutters on the roofs 
often stretched almost to the middle of the street, to the great 



annoyance of passers-by. The front door, opened only on rare 
occasions, was ornamented with a gorgeous brass knocker, 
wrought in a curious animal device. This was the pride of the 
housewife, and was burnished daily with intense solicitude. A 
wide passage extended through the house, with doors at either 
end ; this, furnished with chairs and having always a scrupulously 


white sanded floor, served for a summer parlor. Aside from this 
reception-hall, there were but two large rooms on the first floor, 
with light, ample closets adjoining. On account of the difficulty 
of warming these, and to save the best furniture from the dust 
and smoke of huge wood fires, the family usually retired in the 
winter to a small addition in the rear, consisting of one or two 
rooms above and below. This was built of wood, as indeed was 
ordinarily the whole house, except the pretentious gable front. 
While the Connecticut mistress spun, wove, and stored her 
household linens in crowded chests, the Dutch matron scrubbed 
and scoured her polished floor and woodwork. Dirt in no form 
could be endured bv her ; and dear as water was in the city, 


where it was generally sold at a penny a gallon, it was used 
unsparingly. Fine furniture was the good housewife's weakness. 
Ponderous tables, drawers resplendent with brass ornaments, 
quaint corner cupboards, beds and bedsteads, and even the 
frying-pan and immense Dutch oven had her most loving regards. 
" The mirrors, the paintings, the china, but, above all, the state 
bed," records the author above mentioned, " were considered as 
the family seraphim, secretly worshipped and only exhibited on 
very rare occasions." " The grand parlor," says Washington 
Irving, " was the sanctum sanctorum where the passion for 
cleaning was indulged without control. In this sacred apartment 
no one was permitted to enter excepting the mistress and her 
confidential maid, who visited it once a week for the purpose of 
giving it a thorough cleaning and putting things to rights — 
always taking the precaution of leaving their shoes at the door 
and entering devoutly on their stocking feet. After scrubbing 
the floor, sprinkling it with fine white sand, which was curiously 
stroked into angles, and curves, and rhomboids with a broom — 
after washing the windows, rubbing and polishing the furniture, 
and putting a new bunch of evergreens in the fireplace, the win- 
dow-shutters were again closed to keep out the flies, and the 
room carefully locked up until the revolution of time brought 
round the weekly cleaning day." 

In the early spring the good vrow donned her green calash, 
took her rake over her shoulder, and with her little painted 
basket of seeds went out to make the family garden. Myn- 
heer was much too clumsy to be trusted in the delicate care of 
salads and sweet herbs, celery or asparagus ; cabbages and 
potatoes and such like he cultivated in the field between the rows 
of Indian corn, but into the little spot sacred to the tenderer 
plants, no foot of man intruded, after it was dug in spring. The 
stakes to the simple deal fence, which enclosed the garden and 
the orchard, were oddly ornamented with skeleton heads of 
cattle and of horses ; the jaws being fixed on the pole, with the 
skull uppermost. Samson's riddle here received a daily exempli- 
fication, for the birds built their nests therein and sent forth 
broods of young ones from the ghastly orifice. In clearing the 
way for the first establishment, a tree was always left in the mid- 
dle of the back yard for the sole benefit of these little songsters ; 
this tree being pollarded at midsummer when full of sap, every 
excised branch left a little hollow, and every hollow was the home 



of a bird. It was also a custom to leave an ancient tree, or to 
plant one of some kind directly in front of the doorway, which 
the household regarded with great veneration. 

Every family had a cow, fed through the day in a common 
pasture at the end of the town. They came at night and went in 
the morning of their own accord, like proper adjuncts to sedate 
and systematic households, and their tinkling bells never failed to 
warn of their approach along the grassy streets when the proper 
hour for milking arrived. Being allowed, however, to roam the 
town from evening to morning milking, they, by no means, 
improved the neatness of the highways, which presented a 
strange contrast in that respect to the immaculate interiors of the 
houses. On dark nights housekeepers were required to keep 
lights — tallow candles — in their front windows, and "every 
seventh householder " was obliged to " hang out a lanthorn and 
candle on a pole." 

The happy burghers breakfasted at dawn, dined at eleven, and 
retired at sunset. No change was ever made in the arrangements 
for the family dinner in favor of a guest, and the unexpected 
visitor was received at that meal with unmistakable signs of 
coldness and disfavor. A company tea, however, was a " perfect 
regale," and cakes, sweetmeats, cold pastry, and fruit in abundance 
garnished a table which also often tempted by a fine array of 
roasted game or poultry, or, in its season, shell-fish. Clams — 
called clippers — was a favorite food. The tea was served from a 
large porcelain tea-pot, " ornamented with paintings of fat little 
shepherds and shepherdesses tending pigs, with boats sailing in 
the air and houses built in the clouds " — a cherished souvenir of 
Delft in the dear mother-country. The decoction was taken 
without milk, but a lump of sugar was placed beside each cup, 
the company alternately nibbling and sipping according to indi- 
vidual relish. Another custom was to suspend an immense lump 
of sugar by a string from the ceiling directly overhead, so that it 
could be swung from mouth to mouth and prevent unnecessary 
waste. Irving has so inimitably portrayed a " fashionable tea- 
party " of those days that it were a pity not to recall it here. 
" These fashionable parties were generally confined to the higher 
classes, that is to say, those who kept their own cows and drove 
their own wagons. The company commonly assembled at three 
o'clock, and went away about six, unless it was winter time, when 
the fashionable hours were a little earlier, that the ladies might 


get home before dark. The tea-table was crowned with a nuge 
earthen dish, well stored with slices of fat pork, fried brown, cut 
up into morsels, and swimming in gravy. Sometimes the table 
was graced with immense apple pies, or saucers full of preserved 
peaches and pears ; but it was always sure to boast an enormous 
dish of doughnuts or olykoeks. At these decorous gatherings the 
young ladies seated themselves demurely in their rush-bottomed 
chairs, and knit their own woolen stockings ; nor ever opened 
their lips except to say, Yah Mynheer, or, Yah ya Vrouw, to any 
question that was asked them. As to the gentlemen, each of 
them tranquilly smoked his pipe, and seemed lost in contempla- 
tion of the blue and white tiles with which the fireplaces were 
decorated ; wherein sundry passages of Scripture were piously 
portrayed. Tobit and his dog figured to great advantage ; 
Haman swung conspicuously on his gibbet, and Jonah appeared 
most manfully bouncing out of the whale." A silent grace before 
meat was the usual habit with the Hollanders. Mush or bread 
with buttermilk, " and if to that they added sugar, it was thought 
delicious," constituted the standard family supper. On occasion 
of Dutch dances, a pot of chocolate and some bread were deemed 
sufficient refreshment. New Year's Day was the one of all the 
year for gayety and festivity. Our delightful fashion of New 
Year's calls is an inheritance from the Hollanders, who were also 
accustomed to exchange presents and other complimentary tokens 
on that day. General Washington, speaking of this usage, once 
remarked : " New York will in process of years gradually change 
its ancient customs and manners ; but whatever changes take 
place, never forget the cordial observance of New Year's Day." 
To the Dutch also we owe our Christmas visit of Santa Claus, 
colored eggs at Easter, doughnuts, crullers, and New Year's 

A Dutch belle of the seventeenth century wore her hair 
smoothly plastered back with suet tallow, under a quilted cap. 
Her gayly-striped linsey-woolsey petticoat — or rather petticoats, 
for her fortune was estimated by the number of garments she 
wore — came a little below the knee, affording an admirable view 
of her blue worsted stockings, adorned with bright red clocks, 
and her high-heeled, silver-buckled leather shoes. From her 
girdle depended her huge patch-work pocket, her scissors and 
her pincushion, potent charms, or possibly coquetries of the 
times, which did not fail to touch the tender part of Mynheer's 




nature when, between his puffs, he settled the question of a com- 
petent vrow. The work-basket always accompanied her on picnic 
excursions, and while " the boys " fished or hunted to procure 

game for the coming 
supper, the girls con- 
soled themselves for 
their absence in knit- 
ting or sewing. The 
walls of the " spare 
room " in a Dutch 
home were not in- 
frequently covered 
with extra homespun 
garments, a rather 
unique decoration, 
but an honest certifi- 
cate of the industry, 
and considered as a 
sign of the wealth, 
of the household. 
As to Mynheer him- 
self, the number of 
his breeches or galli- 
gaskins rivalled those 
of his fair one's petti- 
coats, and unneces- 
sarily heightened the 
proportions of his rotund figure. His linsey-woolsey coat — doubly 
precious when spun and woven by the fair maid of his choice, as 
often it was, for love-gifts were substantial then — was profusely 
adorned with large brass buttons ; enormous copper buckles set 
off his unquestionably broad understanding; a low-crowned, wide- 
brimmed hat shadowed his phlegmatic countenance, and his hair 
dangled down his back in a prodigious queue of eelskin. His pipe 
was an indispensable adjunct to his mouth. 

The young Albanian had a custom of proving his worth to his 
lady-love by pushing, with a cargo of blankets, guns, beads, and 
various articles packed in a light canoe, into the deep forest, 
attended only by a faithful slave, and establishing trade with the 
Indians. If he succeeded well, he enlarged his business and 
followed it through life, or disposing of his schooner — which it 



was his pride to own before he settled down— embraced less 
exciting mercantile or agricultural pursuits. The usual dower of 
a daughter was a well-brought-up female slave and the furniture 
of the best bed-chamber. There were two standard amusements 
among young people — sliding down hill in winter, and pillaging 
pigs and turkeys from a neighbor's garden. This was con- 
sidered frolic, not theft, though the owner — if he failed to over- 
take and chastise the robbers, which was his token of gallantry — 
never saw his property again. The married man shut himself 
out from these sports, as unbefitting his dignity, but the bride- 
groom was sure to receive such a visit from some of his old com- 
panions. A story is told of two parties out one night on the 
same business. Both attacked the same place. The chief of the 
second party, finding the game gone, suspected the other, and 
followed it to an inn, where he found the coveted pig roasting 
before the fire. Sending the maid out on a trivial excuse, he cut 
the string by which the pig was suspended, and laying it in the 
dripping-pan, carried it swiftly through the dark and quiet streets 
to another inn, where his companions were awaiting him. The 
first party, not to be outdone, and rightly guessing the offenders, 
sent a messenger to the other inn, where supper and " the pig " 
had just been served. Throwing a huge parcel of shavings 
before the door, he touched a match to them, and crying " fire " 
with all his might, soon drew every occupant to the front. Steal- 
ing in the back way, he secured the traveled treasure, and rushing 
back to his friends, they feasted on the spoils. Strawberries 
abounded in June, when " the country people, perceiving that the 
fields and woods were dyed red, would go forth with wine, 
cream, and sugar ; and instead of a coat of mail, every one takes 
up a female behind him on horseback, and starting for the fields, 
set to picking the fruit and regaling themselves as long as they 

Our Dutch friends seem to have regarded offences of the 
tongue with as little favor as the Puritans, though their punish- 
ments were milder. In 1638, one Hendrick Jansen is made to 
stand at the fort door at the ringing of the bell, and ask the gov- 
ernor's pardon for having " scandalized " him. This same Hen- 
drick Jansen, evidently an over-officious reformer, preferred a 
charge against the minister's wife for having " drawn up her petti- 
coat a little way in the street." A woman who had the temerity to 
slander the minister was obliged also to appear at the fort door. 



and publicly confess that "she knew he was honest and pious, and 
that she lied falsely." The " wooden horse " was a peculiar pun- 
ishment. It had a very sharp back, upon which the offender was 
tightly strapped, or had weights tied to his feet, the horse being 
first put into the cart body. A woman was the first who received 
this penalty, and the instrument was named after her, " the horse 
of Mary Price." Culprits were sometimes led about the town 
fastened to the back of the cart, being whipped as they went. 
These customs continued as late as the middle of the eighteenth 
century, as witness an advertisement from the New York 
Gazette of March, 1750: " The Public Whipper being lately dead, 
twenty pounds a year is offered to a successor at the mayor's 
office." This, with other short items, is printed on the margin 
of the sheet, in a transverse direction to the column matter, 
another instance of the economy of the early New Yorkers. 

The Dutch dominies were paid sometimes in beaver-skins — 
the dominie of Albany at one time received one hundred and fifty 
— and sometimes in wampum or seawant, a kind of Indian money 

consisting of strings of clam- 
shells. Its current value was 
six beads of the white or three 
of the black for an English 
penny. In 1641, the New York 
City Council complains that " a 
great deal of bad seawant, nasty, 
rough things, imported from 
other places," was in circula- 
tion, while " the good, splendid 
Manhattan seawant was out of 
sight or exported, which must 
cause the ruin of the country." 
The city schoolmasters of those 
days acted also as clerks, chor- 
isters, and visitors of the sick. 
The names of those old Dutch 
dignitaries sound strangely 
enough to modern ears. There 
were the hoofd-schout (high 
sheriff), the wees-meester (guardian of orphans), the roy-meester 
(regulator of fences), the eyck-meester (weigh-master), the geheim- 
schryver (recorder of secrets), and the groot burgerrecht, or great 



citizen, in opposition to the klein burgerrecht, or small citizen. 
Only the " great citizens," of whom there were not more than a 
score, could hold offices, and in 1668, the number being so small, 
and many inconveniences arising in consequence, the distinction 
was abolished. 

We have not particularized the family life of that exceptional 
class, the " patroons," who occupied a position not unlike that of 
an English baron with feudal retainers. Their social customs 
were simply those of the best European society of the day. 
They, themselves, were regarded by their numerous tenants with 
a certain respect and reverence which has had no counterpart 
since the Revolution. Holmes characterizes this feeling and the 
former accepted distinction of ranks, in his poem of " Agnes," 
where a gentlemen of the olden time went out to drive, 

" And all the midland counties through, 

The ploughman stopped to gaze, 
Where'er his chariot swept in view 

Behind the shining bays, 
With mute obeisance, grave and slow, 

Repaid by bow polite — 
For such the way with high and low, 

Till after Concord's fight*' 

These lords of the manor lived in a princely way on their large 
estates, which passed from father to son for more than a century. 
When the Revolution broke out, many of them declared for the 
king, and thus their lands became confiscated and their names 
ceased to exist in the ruling offices of the country. Few, indeed, 
in our democratic day, even know of the existence in those times 
of estates whose tenants were numbered by thousands, the gather- 
ing together of which was like that of the Scottish clans. When 
death entered the family of the proprietor, they all came to do 
honor at the funeral, " and many were the hogsheads of good ale 
which were broached for them." When Philip Livingston, of 
Livingston Manor, died, at both town and country house " a pipe 
of wine was spiced for the occasion, and to each of the eight 
bearers a pair of gloves, mourning ring, scarf, handkerchief, and 
silver monkey spoon were given." The latter was so named from 
its handle, whose extremity was in the form of an ape. Every 
tenant also received a pair of black gloves and a handkerchief. 
The whole expense amounted to five hundred pounds. In later 
times (1753) Governor William Livingston wrote against extrava- 


gance in funerals ; and his wife, it is said, was tuc; first one who 
ventured, as an example of economy, to substitute linen scarfs 
for the former silk ones. 

In August, 1673, a Dutch fleet recaptured New York from the 
British, and held it one year, calling it meantime New Orange, 
after the Prince of Orange. During this time strict military dis- 
cipline prevailed. " The Dutch mayor, at the head of the city 
militia, held his daily parade before the City Hall (Stadt Huys), 
then at Coenties Slip : and every evening at sunset he received 
from the principal guard of the fort, called hoofd-xvagt, the keys of 
the city, and thereupon proceeded with a guard of six to lock the 
city gates ; then to place a burger-wagt (citizen guard) as a night- 
watch at various places. The same mayors went the rounds at 
sunrise to open the gates and to restore the keys to the officer of 
the fort." The comfort-loving burgher who accepted the posi- 
tion of mayor in those days paid dearly for the honor in the loss 
of his leisurely fireside smoke before breakfast in the morning. 
Mrs. Sigourney has written some lines upon this period, which, as 
a picture of the times, we copy from Watson's "Annals of New 
York," to which book, and those equally rich and spicy volumes 
entitled " Annals of Philadelphia," by the same author, we are in- 
debted for many of the curious facts related in this chapter. The 
lines run thus: 

Lo, with the sun, came forth a goodly train, 
The portly mayor with his full guard of state. 

Hath aught of evil vexed their fair domain, 
That thus its limits they perambulate, 

With heavy, measured steps, and brows of care, 

Counting its scattered roofs with fixed, portentous stare? 

Behold the keys with solemn pomp restored 
To one in warlike costume stoutly braced, 

He, of yon fort, the undisputed lord. 

Deep lines of thought are on his forehead traced, 

As though of Babylon the proud command, 

Or hundred-gated Thebes were yielded to his hand. 

See, here and there, the buildings cluster round, 
All, to the street, their cumbrous gables stretching, 

With square-clipt trees and snug enclosures bound 
(A most uncouth material for sketching) — 

Each with its stoop, from whose sequestered shade 

The Dutchman's evening pipe in cloudy volumes played. 


Oh, had those ancient dames of high renown — 

The Knickerbockers and the Rapaeljes, 
With high-heeled shoes and ample ten-fold gown, 

Green worsted hose, with clocks of crimson rays- 
Had they, thro' time's dim vista, stretched their gaze, 
Spying their daughters fair in these degenerate days, 

With muslin robe and satin slipper white, 

Thronging to routs, with Fahrenheit at zero, 
Their sylphlike form, for household toils too slight, 

But yet to winter's piercing blast a hero, 
Here had they marvelled at such wondrous lot, 
And scrubbing brush and broom for one short space forgot. 

Yet deem them not for ridicule a theme, 

Those worthy burghers with their spouses kind, 
Scorning of heartless pomp, the gilded dream, 

To deeds of peaceful industry inclined, 
In hospitality sincere and grave, 
Inflexible in truth, in simple virtue brave. 

Hail, mighty city ! high must be his fame 

Who round thy bounds, at sunrise, now should walk; 

Still wert thou lovely, whatsoe'er thy name, 
New Amsterdam, New Orange, or New York, 

Whether in cradle sleep on sea-weed laid, 

Or on thine island throne, in queenly power arrayed. 


The manners of the Southerners on their plantations were 
quite distinct from those of either Puritan or Dutch. The first 
few years in all new colonies have necessarily a certain degree of. 
sameness. An enforced rude state of living engenders rude and 
peculiar laws. Thus we find decrees in Virginia which strongly 
smack of New England quaintness. The Established Church of 
England was guarded with as jealous strictness in the South as 
were Puritan principles in the North ; the first laws of both 
colonies pertaining to religious observances. In Virginia, accord- 
ing to the regulations of 1632, a room or house in every planta- 
tion was to be set apart for, and consecrated to, worship. Ab- 
sence from service " without allowable excuse " was punished with 
a fine of a pound of tobacco, and if the absence continued a month, 
with fifty pounds. There are rumors of other penalties in earlier 


times, such as being tied neck and heels for a night, and serving as 
a slave to the colony — a week for the first offence, a month for the 
second, and a year and a day for the third. Certain culprits also 
are mentioned as being made to stand in church, wrapped in a 
snowy sheet and holding a white wand, like guilty ghosts or 
transfixed lepers ; or as having the initial letter of their crime 
fastened in a great, bold capital upon their back or breast, as in 
New England. 

Ministers were restrained from a neglect of their duties by a fine 
of half their salary if they absented themselves for two months ; 
losing the entire salary and the cure itself for an absence of double 
that length of time. The salary aforesaid consisted of ten pounds 
of tobacco and a bushel of corn — "the first-gathered and best" — 
from every male over sixteen, with marriage, christening and 
burial fees. In the earliest days, every twentieth calf, pig, and 
kid in the parish were also his due. The clerical liberty was fur- 
ther hedged in by an injunction not to give themselves " to 
excess in drinking or riot, spending their time idly by day or 
night, playing at cards, dice, or other unlawful games ; but to 
read or hear the Holy Scriptures, or to employ themselves in 
other honorable studies or exercise, bearing in mind that they 
ought to be examples to the people to live well and Christianly." 
On the other hand, " he who disparaged a minister Avithout proof, 
was to be fined five hundred pounds of tobacco, and to beg the 
minister's pardon publicly before the congregation." Drunken- 
ness was fined five shillings, and every oath cost one shilling. 
Virginians in 1674 are thus described by Bancroft : " The genera- 
tion now in existence were chiefly the fruit of the soil; they were 
children of the woods, nurtured in the freedom of the wilderness, 
and dwelling in lonely cottages scattered along the streams. No 
newspapers entered their houses ; no printing-press furnished them 
a book. They had no recreations but such as nature provides in 
her wilds ; no education but such as parents in the desert could 
give their offspring. The paths were bridleways rather than 
roads ; and the highway surveyors aimed at nothing more than to 
keep them clear of logs and fallen trees. Visits were made in 
boats or on horseback through the forests; and the Virginian, 
traveling with his pouch of tobacco for currency, swam the rivers, 
where there was neither ferry nor ford. The houses, for the 
most part of one story, and made of wood, often of logs, the 
windows closed by convenient shutters for want of glass, we r e 


sprinkled at great distances on both sides of the Chesapeake, from 
the Potomac to the line of Carolina. The parish was of such 
extent, spreading over a tract which a day's journey could not 
cross, that the people met together but once on the Lord's day, 
and sometimes not at all ; the church, rudely built in some 
central solitude, was seldom visited by the more remote families, 
and was liable to become inaccessible by the broken limbs from 
forest trees, or the wanton growth of underwood and thickets." 

The genial atmosphere of the " sunny South," so unlike the 
bleak New England climate, and the entirely different products 
of the two soils, each requiring its own peculiar mode of culture, 
served constantly to increase the dissimilarity in character and 
manners which primarily existed between the northern and the 
southern settlers. The large plantations of the latter necessi- 
tated a numerous train of servants. These, supplied at first by 
the apprentices brought over from England, were, in time, super- 
seded by negro slaves. 

There being but few books and little education in those early 
times — only a few families being able to send their sons and daugh- 
ters to England to be instructed — excitement was often sought in 
bull-baiting, horse-racing, fox-hunting, and cock-fighting. These 
amusements, looked upon with horror by the Puritans, were not 
considered at all derogatory to the southern gentleman, who 
copied his sports from those of the English nobility of that day. 
The finest of horses were imported from the mother country, at 
great care and expense, and the Virginian planter was pardonably 
proud of his well-stocked stables. 

The mode of originating a settlement, or, as Dr. Ramsay 
quaintly styles it, " breaking ground on bare creation/' is thus 
described in that author's History of South Carolina. The par- 
ties migrate from the earlier settlements usually in March, or 
about the breaking up of the winter. They " go with family and 
plantation utensils, a few bushels of corn, and some domestic 
animals. After fixing on a site, they build in two or three days a 
cabin with logs, cut down and piled one upon another in the form 
of a square or a parallelogram. The floor is of earth; the roof is 
sometimes of bark, but oftener of split logs. The light is received 
through the door, and in some instances through a window of 
greased paper, or the bottom of a broken glass bottle. Shelter 
being prepared, their next care is to provide food. The large 
trees are girdled and the underbrush destroyed. The ground, 



thus exposed to the action of the sun, is roughly ploughed or 
hoed, and so favors the growth of the seed corn that in ninety 

or a hundred days the 
ears are large enough 
to roast, and in six weeks 
more the grain is ripe. 
Meantime the settler 
lives on the corn he 
brought with him, and 
on game and fish. His 
axe and gun furnish him with the means of defence against In- 
dians, wild beasts, and robbers. Light wood or the heart of dry 
pine logs affords a cheap substitute for candles. The surplus of his 
crop may be bartered for homespun garments, or, if he is married, 
he may convert the wool of his sheep or the flax or cotton of his 
field into coarse clothing for domestic use." In a few years a 
frame house is built, floored, and shingled. Other grains besides 
corn are cultivated. Fruits and vegetables supply his table. He 
purchases one or two slaves. He builds a barn and other out- 
houses. His children are put to school. He becomes a member 
of a church. Tea, coffee, and sugar are found on his table. His 
house is glazed and decently furnished. His stock is enlarged 
and made to further serve the interests of his family. The woods 
are ransacked for dye-stuffs, in which Carolina abounds, and the 
homespun adds brilliancy to durability. In short, he has be- 
come an independent man and respected citizen. 

Emigrants from Maine and Vermont often struck into the 
then far west, along the banks of the Monongahela or even of the 
Ohio. We now speak of a time as late as just before the Revolu- 
tion. Having established the " tomahawk right " by hacking the 
trees around the circuit — four hundred acres — to which settlement 
gave them free possession, they commenced pioneer life. Wild 
turkeys, venison, and bears' meat gave them strength while they 
waited the growth of pumpkins, squashes, and potatoes. A hom- 
iny block was hollowed out by fire, and the corn was pounded by 
a pestle ; sometimes, to lessen the toil, by a sweep sixteen feet long. 
Nail-holes in a piece of tin formed a grater for the same purpose ; 
two stones were also used, made to play upon each other in the 
manner in vogue in Palestine since before the days when our 
Saviour spoke of " two women grinding at the mill." A piece of 
deerskin stretched over a hoop and pierced with hot wire made a 



good sifter or bolting cloth. A large trough sunk in the ground 
furnished a tan-vat for each family. Ashes were used instead of 
lime to unhair the skin ; bears' grease or hogs' lard served for 
fish-oil, and soot mixed with grease was an efficient blacking. 
The bark was shaved and pounded. Every family did its own 
shoe-making. " Shoe packs" made like moccasins of single pieces 
of leather often answered every purpose. The women spun and 
wove the linsey-woolsey for the family clothing and fashioned 
every garment. 


In the course of their first century, the rigor of Puritan laws 
was somewhat softened. After the witchcraft terror had spent its 
fury, that crime, as well as heresy and blasphemy, disappeared 
from the statutes as capital offences. Here 
and there, by the side of lonely cross-roads, 
the wanderer still stumbled over heaps of 
stones, "the brand of infamy" under which 
the bones of the unhappy suicide were made 
to rest ; and the pillory, the stocks, and the 
whipping-post had by no means become obso- 
lete as efficient instruments in pointing morals. 
But branded cheeks and foreheads and decapi- 
tated ears were rapidly vanishing from sight 
as a means of stimulating sluggard religious 
consciences, and a man might venture now on 
a piece of mince-pie at Christmas without fear 
of fine or punishment. Crimes committed 
by slaves, who continued to be held in New 
England until the Revolution, were severely punished, and as late 
as the middle of the eighteenth century negroes were burned at 
the stake for such crimes as murder and arson. 

Recreations and amusements, which in the first stages of 
pioneer life are necessarily few, now received more indulgence. 
"Popular assemblies" were introduced into Boston about 1740, 
and although at first severely frowned upon by " all ladies of pro- 
priety," so maintained and strengthened their hold that in a few 
years a handsome hall was built and supported by the lovers of 

l'llli PILLORY. 


" musick, dancing, and other polite entertainments." In Litch- 
field, Conn., in 1748, when a violin was used for the first time as 
an accompaniment to the " light fantastic toe," we learn that the 
pastime was enjoyed by " most of the young people," and, further, 
that " the whole expense did not exceed one dollar, out of which 
the fiddler was paid ! " Yet we are told that fathers and mothers 
were wont, then as now, to shake their heads gravely, and sorrow- 
fully bemoan the extravagance of youth ! Verily, in those times 
money was money. Minuets and sometimes country dances 
belonged to polite circles ; " among the lower orders hipsesaw 
was everything," says Watson in his Annals of Philadelphia. 
About the same time of the assemblies appeared the first theatri- 
cal performance in Boston, played at a coffee-house — itself a new 
institution. The idea was so repugnant to New England notions 
that a law was immediately passed which banished the drama 
from Massachusetts for a quarter of a century thereafter. 

In the middle and southern colonies, out of the Puritan ele- 
ment, life was much gayer. To the frequent balls in the southern 
cities, the young ladies from the country, where the roads were 
rough, used to ride in on ponies, attended by a black servant, 
" with their hoops and full dress arranged over the saddle fore 
and aft like lateen-sails ; and after dancing all night, would ride 
home again in the morning." When there was snow, sleighing, 
with a dance to follow, was a popular pastime with the young 
people, but early hours were always kept. The rough, unpainted 
sleigh, capable of carrying thirty persons, was expected to be at 
the door about one o'clock in the afternoon. The gentlemen were 
clothed in cocked-hats, tied under the chin with a blue cotton 
handkerchief, leaving the queue to its own sweet will, a large 
camlet cloak, and oversocks which covered the shoes and reached 
to the small clothes at the knee. Yarn mittens protected the 
hands and a woolen tippet the throat. The ladies were wrapped 
in linsey-woolsey cardinals, with hoods which " were of such am- 
ple dimensions that their heads looked like so many beer-casks." 
The jingle of one or two cow-bells accompanied them. Arrived 
at the place of entertainment, the colored driver tuned his 
three-stringed fiddle, the gentlemen appeared in their square-toed 
pumps, and the ladies shook off their pattens, displaying little 
peak-toed, high-heeled slippers. They danced till eight o'clock, 
then hurried back to their homes, " for," says the relator of this 
entertainment, " to be abroad after nine o'clock on common occa- 


sions was a sure sign of moral depravity." The same old gentle- 
man, describing in 1828 to a young lady the courtship and wed- 
ding of her grandfather in New York, sixty years before, gives 
us the following picture : " The lover, after having received per- 
mission of her parents, pays his first visit to his beloved. In snuff- 
colored coat and small-clothes, cornelian brooch, paste buckles, 
lace frill-worked cravat, and heavily pomatumed and powdered 
hair, he is ushered into the family presence. On one side of the 
fireplace sit a bevy of maiden aunts, knitting. On the other side 
is the father, " stretched at his ease in an arm-chair, in a black cap 
instead of his wig, wrapped in a blue gown, with his breeches 
unbuttoned at his knees, quietly smoking his pipe. Mrs. B. in a 
chintz dress and mob-cap was at his side, engaged in making 
patch-work ; whilst the lovely Prudence sat quite erect by her 
mamma, with her pincushion and housewife dangling from her 
waist, her eyes cast down, and her fingers diligently pricking 
themselves instead of her sampler." The young man shows his 
affection by keeping at a respectful distance from his sweetheart ; 
talks politics with the father, assists the mother in arranging her 
party-colored squares, picks up straying balls of yarn for the spin- 
sters, and when the bell rings nine gives one shy glance at his 
beloved and takes his leave. At the wedding which follows a 
succession of visits like the above, the guests mostly come on 
foot, for there are no hackney-coaches, and private carriages are 
not plentiful. The father of the bride is dressed in full-bottomed 
wig, velvet coat and breeches, gold buckles, and waistcoat reach- 
ing to the knees ; the mother in plain brocade and snowy cap ; the 
parson in " gown, cassock and bands, with a wig that seemed to 
consist of a whole unsheared sheepskin — for in 1768 it would have 
been rank heresy for a parson to appear at a wedding in simple 
black coat and pantaloons." The bride had her hair dressed over 
a high cushion and liberally pomatumed and powdered. The 
height of this tower was over a foot, and on its summit lay a single 
white rose. Her tight-sleeved, low-bodiced white satin dress was 
distended at the ankles by an ample hoop, beneath which crept her 
high-heeled, peaked and spangled white kid shoes. A lace hand- 
kerchief crossed over her bosom was fastened by a large brooch 
containing the miniature of her destined husband. The groom 
had his hair sleeked back and highly pomatumed, with the queue 
so stiff that, having had it dressed the afternoon before, he slept 
all night in an arm-chair, that it might not be disturbed. "His 


coat was of a sky-blue silk lined with yellow ; his long vest of 
white satin, embroidered with gold lace ; his breeches of the same 
material and tied at the knee with pink ribbon." White silk 
stockings and pumps, lace wrist-ruffles and frill, the latter pinned 
with the miniature of his bride, completed his costume. After 
the ceremony every one saluted the bride with a hearty kiss. 

From this marriage in comparatively high life, let us invite 
ourselves to one in the wilds of Pennsylvania. The parties were 
hardy pioneers. A wedding was to them a frolic, which shared 
with reaping, log-rolling, and house-building for occasion of social 
gathering. The party started early in the morning from the 
house of the groom, proceeding in double file on horses decked in 
old saddles, old bridles or halters, and pack-saddles, with a bag or 
blankets thrown over them ; a rope or string served for a girth. 
The jovial company were above all reproach of fashionable 
extravagance, for not a store, tailor, or mantua-maker existed 
within a hundred miles. Every article of dress was home-made 
and forced to do the longest service possible. The gents appeared 
in shoe-packs, moccasins, leather breeches, leggins, and linsey hunt- 
ing-shirts ; the ladies in linsey petticoats and linsey or linen bed- 
gowns, coarse shoes, stockings, handkerchiefs, and, if any, buck- 
skin gloves. Fallen trees, interlocked grape-vines and saplings — 
the work of mischief-lovers, friends or foes — often delayed their 
progress. Sometimes a party in ambush fired a feu de joie, when 
the ladies shrieked, screamed, and implored help in finest femi- 
nine style, while their partners bustled around and offered pro- 
tection as valiantly as if they were veritable knights in full steel 
armor and bound to do battle to the death for their true lady- 
loves. As the party neared the house of the bride, two of the 
most chivalrous young men, with an Indian yell, set out full tilt 
for the bottle of whiskey which was hung out for the first arrival. 
Over logs, brush, and muddy hollows, in a flush of pride and dar- 
ing, they galloped on their large-boned, clumsy-footed steeds to 
the end of the goal. The prize won, they returned to the party, 
giving the first drink to the groom, who passed the bottle around ; 
every one, ladies included, joining in the dram. The ceremony 
over, dinner was in order. The table, made of a large slab of 
timber hewn out with a broad-axe and set on four sticks, was 
spread with beef, pork, fowls, and sometimes deer and bear meat. 
Wooden bowls and trenchers, a few pewter dishes and plates, some 
horn and some pewter spoons, served the company as well as 


II 9 

could china or silver. If knives were scarce, they carried always 
a substitute in the belts of their hunting-shirts. " After dinner 
dancing commenced, and usually lasted till the next morning. 
The figures were reels, or square sets and jigs. The commence- 
ment was always a square four, which was followed by what 
was called jigging it off; none were allowed to steal away to 
get a sleep, and if girls got tired, they were expected, for want 
of chairs, to sit upon the knees of the gentlemen. At nine or ten 
o'clock at night some of the young ladies would steal off with the 
bride. That was sometimes to a loft above the dancers, going 
there by a ladder ; and such a bride's chamber was floored with 


clapboards, lying loose and without nails. Some young men, in 
the meantime, stole off the groom to his bride. At a later period, 
they sent them up refreshments, of which ' black Betty,' so called, 
was an essential part, as she stood in their parlance for a bottle of 
whiskey." These entertainments sometimes lasted several days, 
or until every one was " fagged out." Happy for the weary set 
if, when they were ready for their homeward ride, they found 
their property uninjured, for slighted neighbors were sometimes 
wont to show their stealthy presence, by cutting off the manes, 
foretops or tails of the horses belonging to invited guests. 

The prejudices of rank and social precedence brought over 


from England did not easily die out, even in New England. The 
official dignities there were all monopolized by a few leading fami- 
lies, descending often from father to son. And as office now 
shared with wealth and high English connections — " which were 
to be proud of" — in giving admission to the charmed circle of the 
gentry, we may conclude that the public treasury no longer fat- 
tened on fines wrung from contumacious candidates. Until 
within three years of the time when " all men " were declared to 
be " created free and equal," the catalogue of Harvard College — 
Yale had just abolished the system — was arranged according to 
the social rank of the students. The list, made out each year and 
posted in the buttery, bore perpetual testimony to the rule of 
caste. In those days a young man's title to a superior room, or 
speedy attention at table, depended on the date of his father's 
commission as justice of the peace or some kindred petty sign of 
social degree. We can afford to laugh at it now as an excellent 
burlesque on the English custom of ranking by pedigree, but it was 
a sore reality then, as many an unlucky fellow proved. Fashion 
seems also to have invaded that scholastic sanctum, and to have 
divided popular attention with the sublimities of Horace and 
Homer. In 1754, the "overseers" of the college recommended 
the corporation to prohibit the wearing of " gold anr 1 silver lace 
or brocade " by students. Indeed, it is very apparent that the 
day of the plainest, ugliest cuts for all male apparel had nowhere 
yet dawned. 

^he early part of the eighteenth century was particularly 
characterized by high colors in dress. In 1724, a runaway barber 
is advertised. " He wore a light wig, a gray kersey jacket lined 
with blue, a light pair of drugget breeches, black roll-up stock- 
ings, square-toed shoes, a red leathern apron, and white vest with 
yellow buttons and red linings!" About the same time a lady, 
afflicted with the tender passion, thus bursts out in verse describ- 
ing the costume of her beloved : 

" Mine, a tall youth shall at a ball be seen, 
Whose legs are like the spring, all clothed in green ; 
A yellow riband ties his long cravat, 
And a large knot of yellow cocks his hat !" 

The colonial gentry, in their morning negligee, were wont to 
appear in elegant silk and velvet caps and dressing gowns, 
exchanging them when they went out for hats and cloaks which 


glittered with broad gold lace. The evening drawing-room was 
enlivened by embroidered garments of flowered silk and velvet in 
blue, green, scarlet, or purple hues, adorned with gold lace, silver 
knee-buckles, and silver coat, vest, and breeches buttons. These 
buttons bore sometimes the initial of the wearer, but were often 
made of real quarter-dollars and eleven-penny bits, the former 
being used for the coats and the latter for vests and breeches. 
The other gentlemanly ornaments consisted of gold or silver 
sleeve-buttons, silver stock-buckle, and, perhaps, a shagreen- 
cased watch of tortoise-shell or pinchbeck, with a silver or steel 
chain and seal. The best gentlemen of the country were content 
with silver watches, although gold ones were occasionally used. 
Gold chains would have been a wonder. It was so rare to find 
watches in common use that it was quite an annoyance at the 
watchmaker's to be so repeatedly called on by street-passengers 
for the hour of the day. Wide laced ruffles, falling over the 
hand, a gold or silver snuff-box, and a gold-headed cane were con- 
sidered indispensable to gentility. A well-bred gentleman of 
1776, arrayed in his stately suit of ceremony, moved with a court- 
liness and certain gravity of manner upon which we have hardly 
improved in our day of cultivated French nonchalance. It is 
not to be supposed, however, that any but an exceedingly small 
minority dressed in silks and velvets. 

Broadcloth in winter and silk camlet in summer were popular 
in wealthy circles — coat and breeches of the same material. 
In 1738, Benjamin Franklin advertises for clothes stolen from 
his wardrobe, among which we find : " Broadcloth breeches lined 
with leather, sagathee coat lined with silk, and fine homespun linen 
shirts." Vests were made with great depending pocket-flaps, 
and breeches were short above the stride, suspenders being yet 
an unknown luxury. Working-men wore their breeches very 
full and free in girth, so that, when they became prematurely 
thin in the seat, they could be changed from front to rear. 
Worsted everlasting and buckskin were in great demand, espe- 
cially for breeches, and common people were content with 
leather, homespun, and various heavy wools for winter. Bear- 
skin coats and little woolen muffs of various colors, called 
muftees, were worn by men in severe weather. Homespun 
linens and other light stuffs, coarse and fine, served for summer. 
Boots had not yet come in use, but every thrifty householder kept 
on hand whole calf-skins and sides of stout sole-leather to be 


made into shoes as required. " Before the Revolution no hired 
men or women wore any shoes so fine as calf-skin ; that kind was 
the exclusive property of the gentry ; the servants wore coarse 
neat's leather." Mechanics, workingmen, and "country people 
attending markets " were universally clothed in red or green baize 
vests, striped ticking or leather breeches, and a leathern apron. On 
Sundays or holidays, a white shirt was substituted for the checked 
or speckled one, the deerskin breeches — greasy and stubbornly 
stiff with long wear, and only rendered supple by the warmth of 
the owner's limbs — were blacked or buft up, the coarse blue yarn 
stockings and well-greased shoes set off by a pair of large brass 
buckles, and the apprentice was at his best. Hired women wore 
short gowns of green baize and petticoats of linsey-woolsey, and 
were happy with wages of fifty cents a week. Until after the 
Revolution the dress of working-people and domestics was dis- 
tinct from that of the higher classes. 

Wigs went out of style about twenty years before the Revolu- 
tion, following the lead of George II. and the British officers in 
this country. Previous to that, their use was universal, and as 
human hair could not be obtained in sufficient quantity, horse 
and goat hair "in choice parcels" were freely advertised for this 
purpose. Gray wigs were powdered, the barber performing that 
office on his block-head. After wigs, queues and frizzled side- 
locks had their day. Sometimes the hair was confined in a black 
silk sack or bag, adorned with a large black rose. The three- 
cornered or cocked hat of pre-Revolutionary times is familiar to 
every one. 

Umbrellas were not known before the middle of the century. 
The first used were made of oiled linen, very coarse and clumsy, 
with rattan sticks. Previous to that the gentlemen wore " rain- 
coats" and "roquelaus" — a large oiled linen cape; ladies wore 
" camblets," and sometimes carried "quintasols" — a small article 
something like a parasol, imported from India. They were of 
oiled muslin in various colors. When umbrellas were first used 
as a protection from the sun, great ridicule was made of the idea. 
Ladies, as a preservative of their complexion, sometimes wore 
black velvet masks in winter and green ones in the summer, keep- 
ing them on by means of a silver mouthpiece. Veils were un- 
known, except in crape as a badge of mourning. 

Woman's extravagance was then, as it is now, a juicy topic for 
grumblers, and an English traveler relates how the Boston ladies 


" indulge every little piece of gentility to the height of the mode, 
and neglect the affairs of their families with as good grace as the 
finest ladies in London." The practical satirists of the day had 
their own little jokes, and drove out some of the most offensive 
fashions by novel expedients. The loose dress called a trollopce 
being distasteful to them, they dressed the wife of the public hang- 
man of Philadelphia in one, and she paraded the streets in full cos- 
tume, mincing and strutting to the sound of burlesque music. 
Trollopees straightway became obsolete. The long red cloaks 
were quickly stripped from the shoulders of the ladies of the same 
city after a depraved female criminal had been hung, clothed in a 
scarlet mantle of the most approved style. The "tower" head- 
dress, which had been petted to a ridiculous extreme, was effec- 
tually caricatured by a tall man, dressed in the latest feminine 
mode, and wearing a " tower " of colossal proportions, who made 
the tour of the city streets, preceded by a drum. No one but the 
dear creatures themselves guessed how much torture our great- 
grandmothers endured in the building up of a proper coiffure. In 
towns where there were a limited number of hair-dressers, and a 
grand party was in contemplation, it was no uncommon occur- 
rence for ladies to have their hair frizzed and curled — an opera- 
tion which required three or four hours in the hands of a skillful 
barber — the day before, and then to sit up all night to prevent its 
derangement ! It was a great relief when cushions and arti- 
ficial curled work came in, which could be sent out to the barber's- 
block and save the agony of personal attendance. The fashion- 
able caps a hundred years ago were the " Queen's Nightcap," the 
style always worn by Mrs. Washington, and the " cushion head- 
dress," made of gauze stiffened out in cylindrical form with white 
spiral wire, and having a border called the " balcony." A cap 
was indispensable in those days. Bare heads were quite out of 
character. Even the boys wore wigs like their fathers, and little 
girls caps like their mothers. The " musk-melon bonnet " had the 
crown shirred with whalebone stiflfeners, and was in vogue just 
before the Revolution. It was followed by the " whalebone bon- 
net," which was shirred only in front. Bonnets were bonnets in 
those days, veritable sun umbrellas, tied down at the chin. The 
" calash " was always made of green silk, so arranged that, when 
the wearer desired, it could be made to fall back on the neck and 
shoulders in folds like the cover of a buggy. To keep it up over 
the head, it was drawn by a cord held in the hand of the wearer. 


A modification of this fashion has been revived once or twice 
during the last half century. Satin, a favorite material for even- 
ing robes, was admirably suited to the stately manners of the gen- 
tlewomen of the day. Brocades and mantuas also shared the 
public favor. At one time gowns were worn without fronts, dis- 
playing a finely-quilted Marseilles, silk or satin petticoat, and a 
worked stomacher on the waist. Chintz for summer, and some 
sort of worsted for winter, were worn at home, and " thought 
dress enough for common days" in the best society. Kerchiefs 
and aprons were as necessary as caps, and ranged in material 
from the finest of linen cambric, gauze, and taffeta, monopolized 
by the rich gentry, to the coarsest of checks, homespun, and tow, 
worn by the mass of the people. Before the invention of the spin- 
ning-jenny in 1767, pure cotton home fabrics were unknown, the 
homespun threads being too irregular to be of use except as a 
woof, and the supply being also very limited. The first cotton 
exported from the United States to England was sent in 1785, the 
ship taking but one bag. Hose were made of thread or silk in 
summer, and fine or coarse worsted in winter. Short gowns and 
long gowns are familiar names in our grandmothers' wardrobes, 
from the common linsey-woolseys to the stiff large-flowered bro- 
cades and satins, which we still love to produce as relics from 
old-fashioned chests which smell of camphor and cedar. The 
names of those old stuffs, of calamanco and durant and groset, of 
russet and wilton and tabby, of tandem and gulix and huckaback, 
sound strangely now to the young American girl, who would be 
astonished to find that some of them were at least first cousins to 
fabrics which, somewhat refined, shine in the present market under 
high-sounding French titles. Somewhat less intelligible still is 
the following list of articles, dress materials, etc., taken from a 
Philadelphia advertisement of 1745 : " Quilted humhums, turket- 
tees, grassetts, single allopeens, allibanies, florettas, dickmansoy, 
cushloes, chuckloes, cuttanees, crimson dannador, chained soo- 
soos, lemonees, barragons, byrampauts, naffermamy, and saxling- 
ham " ! 

Although the majority of houses were still humbly and spar- 
ingly furnished, yet comforts had greatly increased during the 
growing prosperity of the colonies, and a few really elegant homes 
were found in every city of importance, belonging mostly to the 
traveled gentry, whose property had come by descent. About 
the close of colonial times we hear of one house in Boston which 




(Brought over in the Mayflower.) 

had cost three thousand pounds, and of another whose furni- 
ture was worth one thousand pounds. Large mirrors, marble 
tables, and Turkey carpets figured in 
fine stone mansions. Elaborate carv- 
ings were seen on massive balustrades 
in spacious halls, and the parlor walls 
were sometimes adorned with painted 
leather hangings. Deep paneled wain- 
scots and carved cornices and mantles 
added to the solid elegance of these 
handsome dwellings. Crimson leather 
furnished a dignified upholstery to the 
straight high-backed mahogany chairs 
and sofas, while heavy damask curtains 
steadied the glitter from ponderous 
brass andirons and brass clock. There 
were a few private libraries of consid- 
erable size, but books were not plenti- 
ful, though well-selected and read with 
care. People bought an outfit of books as of furniture, expect- 
ing it to last a lifetime. Fielding, the father of English novelists, 
supplied the little that was desired of racy fiction. Smollett 
had just translated Gil Bias, and that, with the ever-delight- 
ful Don Quixote, kept up their sense of humor. The Vicar 
of Wakefield, newly out, was read till young and old had it 
almost by heart. Addison's Spectator and Johnson's Rambler 
were models for correct style. Shakespeare and Milton and Young 
were studied until their expressions were as familiar as thought ; 
while a careful perusal of Blackstone's Commentaries and Mon- 
tesquieu's Spirit of Laws was necessary to every gentleman who 
sought to be well-read. Everything, both in books and in furni- 
ture, was solid. Shams had not yet made their advent, and there 
were no veneered woods, no silver-plated wares. What would 
those straightforward, substantial New Englanders have thought 
of our day of dime novels and of shoddy ? 

But it was in the country towns, where the prim Puritan ele- 
ment had not been softened by recent English innovations, that 
one saw real New England life. White sanded floors, with 
unpainted pine settles, scoured to the last degree of whiteness ; 
maple, rush-bottomed chairs set squarely back against the white- 
washed walls; lofty clock-cases reaching to the ceiling; glass- 



doored corner closets wherein the china and silver — family treas- 
ures — were arranged at pure right angles ; high chests of drawers 
filled with stores of household linen, packed squarely in ; — every- 
where an immutable regularity, angularity, and precision. Upon 
the walls, the little looking-glasses in two plates were framed with 
scalloped wood, and black mouldings set off the quaint, stiff 
bunches of flowers painted on glass or worked on satin — testimo- 
nies to fashionable accomplishment. Shining brass and copper 
candlesticks, ready to receive the tallow candles which had been 
snugly packed from the last dipping, were turned up on their 
large round base upon the wooden shelf. Fixed rules governed 
the arrangement of each article of furniture, and were as consci- 
entiously observed as were those which decided the proprieties 
of manner. Everything was stiff, uncompromising, and sedate — 
everything, except the dancing flames in the open fireplaces 
which laughed at their own incongruous, frolicking reflections — 
the one freedom amid perpetual restraint. In the chambers, high, 
four-posted bedsteads kept guard over the same immaculate 
order. Their hangings and valances in the handsomest houses 
were sometimes of silk in summer and heavy damask in winter. 
More commonly, however, they were of snowy dimity, or of blue 

and white stuff like the 
coverlets. Sheets of home- 
spun, blankets of home- 
made flannel, quilts of 
various hues — marvels 
of industry, and narrow, 
downy pillows above the 
soft bolster, completed the 
equipments. The thrift of 
the New England house- 
wife reveled in crowded 
drawers of bed and table 
linen, which she worked 
early and late to produce. 
" She layeth her hands to 
the spindle and her hands 
hold the distaff" was an 
emphatic record of her daily life. The two wheels, one small 
and worked by the foot for spinning linen thread, and the other 
large and turned by the hand for woolen yarn, were honored articles 



fn every household. No less were her kitchen and larder a pride. 
The shining lines of pewter along the ample dresser, the painfully 
scoured floor and white pine furniture, the rows of jams and mar- 
malades, the strings of dried pumpkin and apples, the casks and 
bottles of cider, metheglin, and anise-seed cordial, all attested her 
careful forethought. In many houses a china or silver bowl of 
rum punch stood in the hall, a hospitable invitation to every guest, 
who all drank from the same dish. Flip and toddy were com- 
mon drinks, and a moderate use of the flowing bowl seems tc 
have been almost universal. But woe to the man who overstepped 
the subtle line which divides the drinker from the drunkard 
His name, posted in every alehouse — the keepers of which then- 
selves were required to be of " good character " and " property 
holders " — shut him out forever from further lawful tippling 
Just before the Revolution, a unique punishment was in vogue 
in New York for drunkards. It consisted of " three quarts of 
warm water and salt enough to operate as an emetic, with a por- 
tion of lamp oil to act as a purge." In 1772, a negro, found drunk 
and sent to Bridewell, died after enduring his sentence. 

If one were to tell all the curious local customs which pre- 
vailed here and there over the colonies, it would read spicily 
enough. Here is a choice dish : " The height of the fashion was 
to put into the kettle of chocolate several links of sausages, and, 
after boiling all together, to serve the guests with a bowl of 
chocolate and sausage. The latter was cut up, and the mess 
eaten with a spoon." When tea first came in use, it was boiled in 
an iron kettle and strained ; the leaves were well buttered, and the 
clear liquid was drunk " to wash down the greens." A dish 
called wJiistle-bclly-vengcancc was made by simmering the sour 
household brewed beer in a brass kettle, with crumbled crusts of 
brown bread, adding a little molasses. It was served hot. 

Yet, without carpets, gas, or other " modern improvements," 
taking their long journeys over rough roads in lumbering coaches 
or on horse, cooking by open fireplaces, and spinning and weaving 
all needful articles for use or wear by slow hand labor, our pre- 
Revolutionary fathers and mothers extracted, doubtless, quite 
as much comfort from life as their more luxurious descendants. 
The old-time physician did not neglect his patients though he 
always made his calls on foot, and never ventured to charge more 
than two shillings for each visit ; while fair ladies bustled through 
the muddy streets in pattens and galoshes, and deemed it no 


great hardship to sit out a round hour sermon with only the little 
tin or wooden foot-stove under their feet to temper the winter 
chill of the meeting-house which had never known a fire. When 
the frosts lay heavy on lake and river, came the festivities of 
skating, and the great ox was roasted on the thick-ribbed ice. 
With spring came May-day, still kept up in many parts with true 
Old England merriment. For ball and party invitations, since 
blank cards were yet unknown, the back of a common playing- 
card served as well as anything else ; why not ? No opportunity 
for promiscuous flirting or coquetry then, when a partner was 
engaged for the whole evening, each couple being expected to 
drink tea together on the following afternoon. 

We turn again to the sunny South, seeking repose in a Vir- 
ginia planter's luxurious home. We have seen how these spacious 
mansions were situated, dotting at long intervals the bank of 
some lovely river. Free, generous, a prince in hospitality, the 
southern gentleman kept open-house to all respectable strangers 
who might seek food or lodging. " The doors of citizens," says a 
southern writer, " are opened to all decent travelers and shut 
against none. Innkeepers complain that this is carried to such an 
extent that their business is scarcely worth following. The 
abundance of provisions on plantations renders the exercise of 
this virtue not inconvenient, and the avidity of country people 
for hearing news makes them rather seek than shun the calls of 
strangers. The State may be traveled over with very little 
expense by persons furnished with letters of introduction, or even 
without them by calling at the plantations of private gentlemen 
on or near the roads." It was a delightful termination to a day 
of weary journeying when the bridle was loosed before one 
of these inviting country homes and the gentlemanly host 
uttered his courteous welcome. Over the low verandas and 
balconies climbed, in wanton luxuriance, the yellow jasmine, sweet 
honeysuckle, or the trumpet flower ; the soft air was fragrant 
with the breath of scented shrubs which sprang from warm, moist 
earth ; everywhere was an atmosphere of delicious languor. 
Within the dwelling was the same air of repose. The music of 
the harpsichord was oftener heard than the hum of the spinning- 
wheel, though the southern matron had, too, her own peculiar 
round of duties. Black slaves performed all the domestic labors, 
it is true ; but the heart of the kind mistress was mindful of the 
wants of her large and, in many respects, dependent household, 


in which she found sufficient employ. Her articles of luxury and 
many of her comforts were brought direct from England. Ships 
from Liverpool sailed up the river and delivered at the private 
wharf of the wealthy planter the goods of fashionable attire or 
household elegance which he had ordered from England, receiv- 
ing in return the tobacco sowed, gathered, and packed by the 
negroes on the plantation. Along the Potomac many of the plant- 
ers had beautiful barges imported from England, which were rowed 
by negroes in uniform. When they traveled on horseback, they 
were attended by their black servants in livery. The ladies often 
took their airing in a chariot and four, with liveried black postil- 
lions. A short distance from the family residence stood the kit- 
chen, which, like the laundry, was always separate from the 
mansion. From its large, open fireplace, presided over by some 
ancient Dinah or Chloe in gorgeous red or yellow turban, came 
savory dishes of sweet bacon, wild-fowl, or game. Hot biscuit 
were served at every meal, and no breakfast was complete with- 
out a plate of delicious " hoe-cakes " — cakes made of Indian meal 
and baked before the fire, which are as naturally associated with 
the southern table as pumpkin-pies with the New England board 
or doughnuts with the Dutch. Conveniently retired, might be 
found the negro quarters ; a cluster of wooden cabins each with 
its own little garden and poultry yard, and with swarms of 
black babies, pickaninnies, gambolling in the sunshine. The south- 
ern planter, like the roving Merovingian kings of France, had 
artificers of all kinds in his retinue of servants : tailors, shoe- 
makers, carpenters, smiths, and so on through all the needful 
trade? of ordinary life. There were ample stables for the blooded 
horses, and kennels for the hounds, for the chase was a favorite 
diversion. Washington was passionately fond of it, and the 
names of his fox -hounds — Vulcan, Singer, Sweetlips, Music, 
Truelove, etc. — were carefully registered in his household books, 
the character of some of them giving us a faint hint of an under- 
current of sentiment, which in his grave dignity he seldom 
revealed. On his beautiful Mount Vernon estate, that wonderful 
man, as careful a proprietor as he was brave general and accom- 
plished gentleman, so watched over his exports that they became 
noted as always reliable, and it was said that any barrel of flour 
bearing his brand passed into West India ports without inspec- 

Washington's early friend and patron, Lord Thomas Fairfax, 




possessed one of the largest estates in America. His mansion house, 
called Greenway Court, in the Shenandoah Valley, was the scene 
of many brilliant festivities. He was an ardent loyalist, and when 
he heard of the surrender of Cornwallis, it is related that he said 
to his servant, " Come, Joe, carry me to bed, for it is high time for 
me to die." Nor did he long survive that event. His immense 
lands, valued at ninety-eight thousand pounds, were confiscated to 
the Union. They embraced five million two hundred and eighty- 
two thousand acres, including everything between the Potomac 
and the Rappahannock. When we read of one person enjoying 
the title-claim to an extent of territory covering all the present 
counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmore- 
land, Stafford, King George, Prince William, Fairfax, Loudon, 
Fauquier, Culpepper, Clarke, Madison, Page, Shenandoah, Hardy, 
Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson, and Frederick — twenty- 
one in all — we do not wonder that in those times common people 
made bitter complaint that all Virginia was in the hands of a few 




HE scattered settlements along 
the Atlantic grew into a nation 
as naturally as infancy matures 
into manhood. The whole his- 
tory of the colonies pointed an 
index hand to Lexington and 
Bunker Hill. The Declaration of Independence was but the 
normal outgrowth of the contract signed by the Pilgrims in Cape 
Cod Harbor a little over a century and a half before. The so- 
called " Causes of the Revolution " only served to develop that 
which had its root in the very nature of things. This country 
was settled by men who fled from persecution at home, and 
America to them meant liberty above all things else. Free- 
dom was their birthright, and they had studied its principles 
thoroughly. To provoke such men by injustice, was to. shake 
rudely every tie which bound them to the mother country. Tuf" 
this England did, wantonly and continually. 


The royal governors often carried matters with a high hand. 
There were attempts made to take away the charters of Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. There were sugges- 
tions of creating a provincial peerage and of giving the Estab- 
lished Church the precedence in all the colonies. In the army, a 
"regular" captain outranked a "provincial" colonel. Every 
effort was made to keep the colonies dependent, and to favor the 
British manufacturer and merchant. Even Pitt, the friend of 
America, asserted that the colonists had " no right to manufac- 
ture a nail for a horse-shoe." Commerce and manufactures were 
bound hand and foot. In 1750, the Americans were forbidden to 
send pig-iron to England and to make steel or bar iron for home 
use. Iron-works were declared " common nuisances." The expor- 
tation of hats from one colony to another was prohibited, and no 
hatter was allowed to have more than two apprentices at one 
time, as the colonists, if let alone, " would supply all the world 
with hats." The importation of sugar, rum and molasses was bur- 
dened with exorbitant duties ; and the Carolinians were forbidden 
to cut down the pine-trees of their vast forests, in order to con- 
vert the wood into staves, or the juice into turpentine and tar, for 
commercial purposes. England, says Sabine, forbade the use of 
waterfalls, the erection of machinery, looms and spindles, and 
the working of wood and iron ; set the king's broad arrow upon 
trees in the forest; shut out markets for boards and fish; seized 
sugar and molasses, and the vessels in which they were carried ; 
required an American vessel wrecked on the Irish coast to first 
send its goods destined for an Irish market to England, and then 
have them brought back to Ireland in an English vessel ; and at- 
tempted to define the limitless ocean to be but a narrow pathway 
to such lands as bore the British flag. Such odious laws drove 
men to their violation. It was the only hope of trade. Smug- 
gling became so common that it is said of the one and a half 
million dollars worth of tea used annually in the colonies, 
scarcely any had paid duty. Not one chest out of five hundred 
landed in Boston was regularly entered. A considerable part of 
Hancock's fortune inherited from his uncle was made by smug- 
gling tea in molasses hogsheads ; and at the breaking out of the 
Revolution, the crown had sued Hancock himself to recover 
penalties for violations of revenue laws to the amount of half a 
million dollars. 

The home government had incurred heavy expenses during 




the old French and Indian war. George III. was now king. 
Pitt, who was almost idolized in America, was dismissed, and the 
monarch, following incompetent ministers like Bute, Grenville, 
and Townshend, stupidly and wantonly drove on the colonists to 
revolt. It was determined to make 
the rich and thriving young colo- 
nies contribute to the payment 
of the debt. The colonists were 
not represented in parliament, and 
they declared the principle that 
" Taxation without represen- 
tation IS TYRANNY." 

Step by step the struggle now 
went on. In 1761, strict orders 
were received 
by the revenue 
officers to en- 
force the obnox- 
ious laws against 
trade. Warrants, 
or writs of assist- 
ance, as they 
were called, were 
issued, authoriz- 
ing these per- 
sons to search for 

smuggled goods. With such a pretext, any petty custom-house 
official could ransack a man's house or store at his pleasure. The 
colonists held the Englishman's maxim, that " every man's house 
is his castle." The royal collectors were accordingly resisted 
from one end of the country to the other. At the General Court 
in Boston, James Otis, without fear or fee, eloquently withstood 
the issuing of such warrants. " To my dying day," said he, " I will 
oppose, with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all 
such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the 
other." " Then and there," wrote John Adams, " the trumpet of 
the Revolution was sounded." 

From that time, in his indignation, Adams could "never read 
the acts of trade without a curse." In 1764, parliament distinctly 
declared its " right to tax America." Colony after colony entered 
its solemn protest; but in vain. In 1765, the Stamp Act was 





passed. This ordered that no legal document was valid unless it 
bore a British stamp costing from three pence to six pounds ; that 
every newspaper and pamphlet should bear a stamp worth from a 
halfpenny to four pence ; and that each advertisement should pay 
a duty of two shillings. 

The ministers were authorized to send troops to America, and, 
by a clause in the Mutiny Act, it was ordered that the colonists 
should provide the soldiers 
with quarters and necessary 
supplies. America was not 
only to be taxed but to be 
made to house and feed its 
oppressors. The assembly of 

Virginia was in session when 
these obnoxious laws were an- 
nounced. Patrick Henry, a 
young lawyer, the youngest 
member of the house, quickly 
drew upon the blank leaf of an 
old law-book a series of resolutions denying the right of parlia- 
ment to tax America. He supported these in a strain of burning 
patriotism, declaring, " Caesar had his Brutus, Charles I. his Crorn- 


1765.] THE MUTINY ACT. 1 37 

well, and George III." — here pausing till the cry of "Treason! 
Treason !" from several parts of the house had subsided, he delib- 
erately added — "may profit by their examples. If this be trea- 
son, make the moat of it." " The sun of liberty is set," wrote 
Franklin ; " the Americans must light the lamps of industry and 
economy." " Be assured," was the reply of Colonel Thomson, 
" we shall light lamps of a very different character." 

The tide of opposition everywhere ran high, and even some- 
times overflowed the barriers of law and order. The houses of 
British officials were mobbed. The opponents of the tax met on 
Boston Common under a large elm, famous as the " liberty tree." 
Associations were formed which took the name of " Sons of 
Liberty," a phrase used by Colonel Barre in a powerful speech, 
now familiar to every school-boy, delivered in parliament in 
defence of the colonies. At Portsmouth, N. H., a coffin inscribed 
" Liberty, aged CXLV years," was borne to an open grave. 
With muffled drums and solemn tread, the procession moved from 
the State House. Minute-guns were fired till the grave was 
reached, when a funeral oration was pronounced and the coffin 
lowered. Suddenly it was proclaimed that there were signs of 
life. The coffin was raised. A new inscription, " Liberty 
Revived," was appended. Bells rung, trumpets sounded, men 
shouted, and a jubilee ensued. Stamps were everywhere seized, 
and the agents were forced to resign. The people agreed not to 
use any article of British manufacture. Trade with England 
almost ceased. The women entered heartily into the struggle, 
and the newspapers of the day are full of their patriotic doings. 
They formed associations called " Daughters of Liberty," and 
spun and wove with renewed vigor, determined to prove them- 
selves independent of the mother-country. " Within eighteen 
months," wrote a gentleman at Newport, Rhode Island, " four 
hundred and eighty-seven yards of cloth and thirty-six pairs of 
stockings have been spun and knit in the family of James Nixon 
of this town." In Newport and Boston the women, at their tea- 
drinkings, used, instead of imported tea, the dried leaves of the 
raspberry, which they called Hyperion. The feeling spread to 
every condition of life. The very children in the streets caught 
up the cry, " Liberty and property forever ! No stamps." 

In North Carolina John Ashe, speaker of the Assembly, declared 
to Governor Tryon, " This law will be resisted to blood and 
to death." When the sloop-of-war Diligence anchored in Cape 




Fear harbor with a supply of stamped 
paper for the use of the colony, the 
crowd, headed by Colonels Ashe 
and Waddell, prohibited the terri- 
fied captain from land- 
ing his cargo. Thence 
they marched to the 
governor's palace at 
Wilmington and 
threatened to burn it 
over his head unless 
he gave up the stamp- 
master, whom they 
forced to swear not to 
discharge the duties 
of his office. 

Massachusetts sug- 
gested a convention 
to be held at New 
York in October. The 
call was en- 
dorsed by 
South Car- 
olina, and 
met from 

nine colonies. 
They proposed 
a declaration of 
rights, and me- 
morials to thr 
king and parlia- 
ment. The first 
of November, the 
time appointed for 
the law to go into 
effect, was ob- 
served as a day of mourning. Bells 
were tolled, flags were raised at half- 
mast, and business was suspended. 
Samuel and John Adams, Patrick 



Henry, and James Otis aroused the people over the whole land 
by their stirring and patriotic speeches. 

In February, 1766, Benjamin Franklin, then in England as 
agent for Pennsylvania, was called before the bar of the House 
of Commons and questioned concerning the condition of the 
colonies. His firm and decisive answers greatly impressed the 
officers of the crown. The English government, finding that the 
Stamp Act could not be executed, except by force of arms, at last 
repealed it. The news was received in America with transports 
of joy. Addresses of thanks were voted to the king and distin- 
guished statesmen, such as Camden, Pitt, and Barre. At Boston, 
Faneuil Hall was adorned with full-length pictures of the latter 
two friends of America. The debtors were released from jail, and 
what with fireworks, public entertainments, music, and parades, 
the day was one of the happiest ever seen. The " home feeling " 
toward England was restored and trade resumed. 

But the cloud soon settled again. The government still 
declared its right to inflict taxation on the colonies. Duties were 
imposed on tea, glass, paper, etc., and a Board of Trade was 
established at Boston, to act independently of the colonial assem- 
blies. The press and the pulpit at once sounded the alarm. The 
non-importation agreement was revived with greater stringency. 
The New York assembly, refusing to quarter English troops at 
the colonial expense, was suspended from all legislative acts. 
The Massachusetts assembly having sent a circular to the other 
colonies urging a union for redress of grievances, parliament, 
in the name of the king, ordered it to rescind its action. It 
almost unanimously refused. In the meantime the assemblies of 
nearly all the colonies had declared that parliament had no right 
to tax them without their consent. Flereupon they were warned 
not to imitate the disobedient conduct of Massachusetts. 

New events constantly occurred to keep up the excitement. 
The commissioners of customs seized a sloop laden with wine, 
because the owner, John Hancock, refused to pay duty upon it ; 
but the mob falling upon them, they were glad to take refuge in 
Castle William. Boston being considered the hotbed of the 
rebellion, General Gage ordered thither two regiments of troops. 
They entered on a quiet Sunday morning, and marched as 
through a conquered city, with drums beating and flags flying. 
All the prejudices of a peaceful, Sabbath-loving, liberty-sworn 
people were thus aroused. Quarters being refused, the soldiers 




took possession of the State House. The Common was soon 
covered with tents. Cannon were planted, sentries posted, and 
citizens challenged ; while the harbor was occupied by a fleet of 

An obsolete law of the time of Henry VIII. was revived, and 
the governor of Massachusetts ordered to send the persons con- 
cerned in the late disturbance to England for trial. This high- 
handed measure was bitterly opposed by a minority in the House 
of Commons, Burke exclaiming, " Can you not trust the juries 
of that country ? If you have not a party among two millions 
of people, you must either change your plans of government 
or renounce the colonies forever." 

The presence of the soldiers in Boston was a constant aggra- 
vation, and the people did their utmost to render their stay 
uncomfortable. The city committee persuaded the farmers to 
sell them nothing but the provisions necessary for their existence ; 
straw, timber, boards, and other articles were purposely withheld 
from their market. Articles purchased by the agents of govern- 
ment encountered mysterious accidents ; straw took fire and 
burned ; vessels with bricks sunk ; wood-carts overturned, and, 
in short, the vexations of life were multiplied upon them. 

Frequent quarrels took place between the people and the 
"red-coats." One day (March 5, 1770) a crowd of men and boys, 
maddened by their presence, insulted the city guard. A fight 
ensued. Several citizens were wounded and three killed. The 

bells were rung. The country people 
rushed in to the help of the city. Quiet 
was with difficulty restored. But the 
snow in King Street was purple, and 
" that stain, though it melted away in 
the next day's sun, was never forgot- 
ten nor forgiven." In the morning 
Faneuil Hall was filled with an indig- 
nant crowd. The immediate removal 
of the troops was demanded. The 
government was forced to yield, and 
to order the soldiers out of the city to 
Castle William. The citizens slain in 
the brawl were buried with solemn pageantry, and apotheosized 
as the first martyrs to liberty. The story of the " Boston Mas- 
sacre," as it was called, became a tale of horror. The fact that 




the soldiers fired in self-defence against an excited mob was 
ignored, and the hate of foreign domination was intensified by 
details of what was spread as an unprovoked assault upon quiet 
and defenceless citizens. 

The guard which had fired on the mob were tried for murder. 
The result was a beautiful triumph of law and order over popular 
prejudice. The defence was conducted by John Adams and 
James Otis. In spite of the universal agitation, all were acquitted 
except two, who were convicted of manslaughter only. These 
were branded in the hand in open court and discharged. This 
fair and honorable trial exhibited the temper of the people and 
the uselessness of reviving an ancient statute in order to secure 

In North Carolina the insolence shown in the notorious 
embezzlements of the royal officers aroused open rebellion. The 
governor, who was himself squandering the funds in building a 
palace, stated in an official paper that the " sheriffs had purloined 
more than half the public moneys." In this province the revenue 
was raised by a poll-tax, so that the richest merchant paid no 
more than the poorest laborer. The officers often levied four 
times the lawful tax. The courts refused the distressed people 
their rights. Money was scarce ; wheat brought only one shilling 
per bushel, and that after being hauled fifty or a hundred miles to 
market. Under such circumstances the taxes became simply 
unendurable. At last, as the only means of obtaining justice, an 
association of regulators was formed for the avowed purpose of 
redressing the grievances of the country. Governor Tryon, 
however, marched against them, defeated them at Alamance 
Creek (May 16, 1771), and left three hundred of their number 
dead on the field. Six were afterward hanged. The governor 
and his satellites took possession of such of their estates as they 
desired. Not a few of the hardy backwoodsmen fled to the 
wilderness and obtained lands of the Cherokees, where they laic 
the foundation of the State of Tennessee. The regulators were 
subdued, though a bitter hatred of British rule was engendered. 

In 1772, the Gaspee, a British revenue schooner, while chasing 
a vessel, ran aground. The opportunity was too good to be lost. 
That night a party from Providence boarded and set her on fire. 

The English government was greatly alarmed by the steady 
determination evinced by the colonies. The merchants, whose 
goods lay unsold in their warehouses, offered to pay the govern- 





ment the entire amount expected to be realized from the duties. 
Finally, all were rescinded except that on tea, which was left 
merely to maintain the right of taxation. With a curious mis- 
apprehension of the American spirit, an arrangement was made 
with the India Company whereby this could be furnished at a 
cheaper rate in America than in England. The subterfuge only 
exasperated the patriots. They were fighting for a great princi- 
ple, not against a paltry tax. 

At Charleston the tea was stored in damp cellars, where it 
soon spoiled. The tea-ships at New York and Philadelphia were 
sent home. The British authorities at Boston refused to let the 
vessels loaded with tea return. Upon this, an immense public 
meeting was held at Faneuil Hall. Speeches were made by 
Quincy, Adams and others. It was resolved that the tea should 
never be landed. That evening (December 16, 1773), memorable 
in American history, a party of men disguised as Indians boarded 
the vessels and emptied three hundred and forty-two chests of 
tea into the water. The dock was crowded with people who 
looked on with joy. When the work was done they quietly 
dispersed. As the party passed by a house where Admiral 
Montague was visiting, he raised a window and called out, 
" Well, boys, you've had a fine night for your Indian caper. But, 
remember, you've got to pay the fiddler yet." " Oh, never 
mind," replied one of the leaders, " never mind, squire ! Just 
come out here, if you please, and we'll settle the bill in two 
minutes." But the Admiral declined to come out ; and to " settle 
the bill " took seven years of bloody war, thousands of lives, and 
millions of money. 


The issue was now fairly made. " The king, his ministers, 
parliament, and all Great Britain set themselves to subdue this 
one stubborn little town on the sterile coast of Massachusetts Bay." 
The odds were terrible. But in resolute little Boston there were 
a town hall, free schools, free presses, and free pulpits. There 
was a government of the people, for the people, and by the 
people ; there were heroes who knew the right and dared main- 
tain it ; there were praying men, zealous ministers, and conscien- 
tious statesmen. God smiled on his own, and that town was safe. 

The English government at once adopted retaliatory measures. 
General Gage was appointed governor of Massachusetts, with 
orders to enforce new and more coercive decrees, virtually 
abrogating the charter. The port of Boston was closed by act 
of parliament. Great distress was thus produced in the city, but 
from every side came expressions of sympathy and substantial 
aid. The cause of Boston was made the common cause of the 
country. The merchants of Marblehead and Salem, refusing to 
profit by the ruin of their rivals, offered the use of their wharves to 
the Boston merchants. Wyndham, Conn., donated a flock of two 
hundred and fifty sheep. Schoharie, New York, forwarded 
five hundred and fifty bushels of wheat. The people of Georgia 
sent their sympathies from the far south, accompanied by sixty- 
three barrels of rice and seven hundred and twenty dollars in 

The burgesses of Virginia, then in session at the old capitol 
in Williamsburg, learning the news of the Boston Port Bill, ap- 
pointed a fast clay on June 1st, when it was to go into effect. 
The governor immediately dismissed the refractory assembly, as 
a schoolmaster would a class of unruly boys, — yet it contained 
such men as Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Pendleton, and Nicholas. 
Washington notes in his diary that he observed that day as a 
rigid fast, and attended services at church. George Mason 
charged his children to go thither clad in mourning. The bur- 
gesses, after their dissolution, immediately repaired en masse to 
the famous "Apollo Room" of the Old Raleigh Tavern— Vir- 
ginia's Faneuil Hall — less than one hundred paces from the 
capitol. Here they declared unanimously that the attack on 
Massachusetts was one upon all the colonies, and must be re- 
sisted by their united wisdom. 

Committees of correspondence were now appointed by the 
various colonies. This idea, acted upon first by the Sons of Lib- 





erty in New York city, became a powerful political engine in 
combining the colonies against England. A curious device, rep- 
resenting the colonies as parts of a 
snake, with the significant motto, 
"Join or die," was extensively 
adopted. At the suggestion of 
influential men and meetings in 
all parts of the country, delegates 
were chosen to a general congress. 
The first Continental Congress 
assembled at Carpenter's Hall, 
Philadelphia, September 5, 1774. 
Every colony but Georgia was 
represented. The venerable Pey- 
ton Randolph was chosen presi- 
dent. Fifty-three delegates were 
present — among them such men as 
Samuel and John Adams of Mas- 
sachusetts ; Hopkins of Rhode Island ; Sherman and Deane of 
Connecticut; Livingston and Jay of New York; Lee, Henry, 
Randolph, and Washington of Virginia ; Rutledge and Gadsden 
of South Carolina. The first meeting, we are told, was fearfully 
solemn. All felt the momentous responsibility of the occasion. 
At last the silence was broken by the magic eloquence of Patrick 
Henry. He was followed by Richard Henry Lee. It was 
resolved that each session should open with prayer — Samuel 
Adams, though a Congregationalist, moving that Rev. J. Duch6, 
rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, should be invited to 

Morning came. News had arrived of a bloody attack on 
Boston by the British troops. The regular psalm for that day 
(seventh) seemed providentially ordered. The chaplain read : 
" Plead thou my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me, 
and fight thou against them that fight against me. Lay hand 
upon the shield and buckler, and stand up to help me. Bring 
forth the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute 
" Lord, how long wilt thou look upon this? O deliver my 


soul from the calamities which they bring on me." " Awake and 
stand up to judge my quarrel. Avenge thou my cause, my God 
and my Lord. Judge me, O Lord, my God, according to thy 
righteousness ; and let them not triumph over me." After this, 


the chaplain unexpectedly broke out into an extempore prayer so 
full of zeal and fervor, for Congress, the country, and especially 
for Boston, that the hearts of all were thrilled and comforted. 

As yet few members had any idea of independence. Congress, 
however, voted, that obedience was not due to any of the recent 
acts of parliament, and sustained Massachusetts in her resistance. 
It issued a protest against standing armies being kept in the 
colonies without consent of the people, and agreed to hold no 
intercourse with Great Britain, though expressing at the same 
~ime the most devoted loyalty to the king. It also agreed not to 
import or purchase slaves after the first of December ensuing. 

The country heaved like an ocean in a storm. Party lines 
were now sharply drawn. Those opposed to the action of the 
British government were termed Whigs, and those supporting it 
Tories. Everywhere were repeated the thrilling words of 
Patrick Henry in the Virginia House of Burgesses, " I know not 
what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give 
me death." Companies of soldiers, termed " minute-men," were 
formed. To be a private in one of these was an honor. Balls 
were cast, cartridges made, and military evolutions learned. 
Nothing was heard, says Botta, but the din of arms and the 
sound of fife and drums. Gage, being alarmed, fortified Boston 
Neck, and seized the powder in the magazine at Charlestown. 
A rumor having been circulated that the British ships were 
firing on Boston, in two days thirty thousand minute-men were 
on their way to the city. A spark only was needed to kindle 
the slumbering hatred into the flames of war. 


(From a caricature of the time.) 



ENERAL GAGE, learning that 
the patriots were collecting 
stores and ammunition at Con- 
cord, resolved to seize them. 
On April 1 8th, about eleven 
o'clock in the evening, a body 
of eight hundred regulars, under 
the command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Smith and Major Pit- 
cairn, secretly left Boston, and 
near midnight took the road 
for Concord. The moon shone 
brightly from the clear sky, and 
they moved on rapidly. The Boston leaders, however, were on 
the alert. From the tower of the old North Church streamed a 
beacon light ; while Paul Revere and William Dawes, escaping 
the guard, were already far ahead announcing their coming. 
There was 

" A hurry of hoofs in a village street, 

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, 
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark 
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet." 

Soon the distant ringing of bells and firing of guns told the 
troops that the alarm was spreading. When they reached Lex- 
ington at dawn, they found a small company of minute-men 
gathering on the village green. Riding up, Pitcairn shouted, 
" Disperse, you rebels ! Lay down your arms ! " " Too few to 
resist, too brave to fly," they hesitated. Discharging his pistol, he 
cried aloud to his troops, " Fire ! " It was a murder, not a battle. 
Only a few random shots were returned by the patriots to the 
volley which followed. Jonas Parker had sworn never to run 

April 19, T 
1775. J 



from the red-coats. Already wounded, he was reloading his gun 
on his knees, when a bayonet thrust pierced his heart. Harring- 
ton was hit while standing in front of his house. His wife saw 
him from the window, and rushed down only to catch him as, 
tottering forward, he expired in her arms. With three huzzas 


over their valiant slaughter of a handful of villagers, the troops 
marched on, leaving behind them seven Americans lying on the 
bloody grass — the first dead of the Revolution. 

Lonely did they look in the still air and the solemn hush that 
fell on the town after the sharp crack of the rifle had died away ; 
but they were heroes all, and, a century later, we gaze back upon 
Lexington as upon an altar of sacrifice. 

" Of man for man the sacrifice, 

Unstained by blood, save theirs, they gave. 
The flowers that blossomed from their grave 
Have sown themselves beneath all skies. 

" No seers were they, but simple men ; 
Its vast results the future hid ; 
The meaning of the work they did 
Was strange and dark and doubtful then." 

Elated by their success, the English now pushed forward to 
Concord and destroyed what stores they could find at that place. 
Major Pitcairn, who was given to bluster as well as profanity, 
entered the village tavern and poured out a glass of brandy, 
which he sweetened to his taste, but not finding a spoon to stir 





it, mixed it with his fingers ; at the same time saying in bluff 
soldier fashion that "just so he would stir up the blood of the 
Yankees before the day was over." Meantime the militia were 
gathering fast on the neighboring hills, and even ventured to 
sharply return a volley from the British pickets at the Concord 
Bridge, where 

" The embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard round the world." 

The grenadiers ran in confusion. The example was contagious, 
and Smith decided to return. It was high time. The whole region 

was in arms. Every boy 
old enough to grasp a 
musket and a powder- 
horn hurried to avenge 
his fellows. The gray- 
haired men hobbled on 
as best they could to 
get a shot at the ene- 
mies of their country. 
An old hoary-headed 
man of Woburn figures 
in the stories of the 
time, who rode a fine 
white horse after the 
flying troops, and, dismounting within gunshot, would send his 
sure bullet to the mark. When he fired some one fell. They 
came to cry, at sight of him, " Look out, there is the man on the 
white horse." Every bush, tree, stone wall, and building con- 
cealed a patriot, who blazed away at the red-coats as they passed, 
firing, loading quickly, and then running ahead across the fields 
to catch another shot ; fresh allies on either flank streamed in by 
every cross-road ; and between them all the British, no longer in 
ranks, were flying like sheep along the same road by which they 
had come, afraid of the storm they had aroused. The whole 
body would have been captured had they not met Lord Percy 
with reinforcements near Lexington. He formed a hollow square 
to receive the breathless fugitives, who rushed forward with 
" tongues hanging out of their mouths, like those of dogs after a 
chase." Even now there was danger. The woods were swarm- 
ing with " rebels." The cannon Percy had brought with him 

April 19,1 
1775. J 



scarcely kept the Americans at bay. It was with the greatest 
difficulty that he at last escaped under the guns of the fleet off 

During that eventful day the English had lost about two 
hundred and eighty, and the Continentals one-third that num- 
ber. Percy's men, enraged at their losses, plundered houses, 
destroyed furniture, and fired buildings on their route, driving 
the sick from their beds and killing the infirm. In one place, a 
boy had taken refuge under his mother's bed ; a soldier, seeing 
the little fellow's foot projecting, barbarously pinned it to the 
floor with his bayonet. The young hero never groaned. 

The effect of this day's work was electrical. The news that 
American blood had been spilled flew like wildfire. Patriots 
came pouring in from all sides. General Putnam, " Old Put," as 
he was familiarly called, already famous for his exploit in the 


wolf's den and other equally daring deeds, left his cattle yoked in 
the field, and without changing the checked shirt he had on, 
mounted his fastest horse, and the next morning was at Cam- 
bridge, having ridden one hundred miles in eighteen hours. 
Soon twenty thousand men were at work throwing up entrench- 
ments to fasten the British in the city. Congresses were formed 



TMay IO 
L 1775. 

in all the colonies, and committees of safety were appointed to 
call out the troops, and to provide for any emergency. 

Meanwhile Connecticut resolved to strike a blow for the good 
cause. An expedition was accordingly fitted out under Ethan 
Allen, a noted leader of the " Green Mountain Boys," and Bene- 
dict Arnold, to seize the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. 
Troops were hastily gathered, and the march began. Late on the 
night of May 9th they reached the shore of the lake. Only a few 
boats could be secured, and at daybreak only eighty-three men 
had crossed. No time was to be lost if a surprise was to be 
effected. With this little band, Allen marched directly upon a 
fortress that mounted one hundred guns — himself leading the at- 

tack, with Arnold emulously at his side. As Allen rushed into 
the sally-port, a sentinel snapped his gun at him and fled. The 
Green Mountain Boys quickly formed upon the parade-ground in 
hollow square, facing each way toward the barracks, and raised 
the Indian whoop. " It was a cry," says Bancroft, " that had not 
been heard there since the time of Montcalm." Rapidly making 
his way to the commander's quarters, Allen, in a voice of thunder, 
ordered him to surrender. " By whose authority ?" exclaimed the 
frightened officer. " In the name of the Great Jehovah and the 
Continental Congress ! " shouted Allen. No resistance was at- 


tempted. Large stores of cannon and ammunition, just then so 
much needed by the troops at Boston, fell into the hands of the 
Americans without the loss of a single man. A detachment was 
sent off under Colonel Seth Warner to take Crown Point, and that 
fort surrendered at the first summons. 

A few hours after the capture of Ticonderoga, the second Con- 
tinental Congress met at Philadelphia. It voted to raise twenty 
thousand men, and to issue three million dollars in paper money. 
John Adams, after a powerful speech setting forth the qualities 
requisite for the commander-in-chief of the army, suddenly nomi- 
nated George Washington, then present as delegate from Virginia, 
for that high office. All were surprised, as he had informed no 
one of his intention, but the members unanimously approved the 
choice. Artemas Ward, Charles Lee, Philip Schuyler, and Israel 
Putnam were appointed major-generals ; Seth Pomeroy, Richard 
Montgomery, David Wooster, William Heath, Joseph Spencer, 
John Thomas, John Sullivan, and Nathaniel Greene, brigadiers ; 
Horatio Gates was made adjutant-general, with the rank of briga- 
dier. Strange to say, there were still hopes of a reconciliation, 
and committees were appointed to petition the king and to ad- 
dress the people of England. 

Gage had now received heavy reinforcements under experi- 
enced generals, Clinton, Burgoyne, and Howe. Thus encour- 
aged, he declared martial law, but offered pardon to all rebels 
who should lay down their arms, excluding, however, Samuel 
Adams and Hancock, whose crimes were so great that they were 
to be taken to England and reserved for more condign punish- 
ment. The English were now determined, as Burgoyne expressed 
it, to get " elbow room," and they had already resolved to fortify 
Dorchester Heights and Bunker Hill, which overlooked the city, 
on the 1 8th of June. This becoming known in the patriot camp, 
it was decided to anticipate them ; and General Ward, who was 
then at the head of the besieging forces, ordered Colonel Prescott, 
with one thousand men, to occupy Bunker Hill. On the night 
of June 1 6th the troops assembled at Cambridge, whence, after 
prayer by President Langdon of Harvard College, they noise- 
lessly marched to Breed's Hill, which they had decided to be a 
more commanding position. It was bright moonlight, and they 
were so near the enemy that they could distinctly hear the "All's 
well" of the sentinels at the foot of Copp's Hill; yet so quietly did 
they work that there was no alarm. Before morning they had 



TJune 17 


thrown up a redoubt eight rods square and six feet high. At 
dawn, a watchman on one of the ships discovered the earthwork. 
Fire was at once opened, in which soon after all the shipping and 
a battery on Copp's Hill joined. Under the raining bombs and 
balls the Americans toiled on, strengthening the work already 


thrown up, and also running a breastwork north about twenty 
rods down the hill. A soldier who had ventured outside being 
killed by a cannon-ball, some panic-stricken ones fled. Colonel 
Prescott, although his tall, commanding form rendered him a con- 
spicuous mark, sought to reassure his men by leisurely making a 
tour upon the parapet. General Gage, in Boston, was standing 
near Counsellor Willard, Prescott's brother-in-law, inspecting the 
works through a glass. " Who is that ?" he demanded. " That is 
Colonel Prescott," was the reply. " Will he fight?" was the next 
question. " Yes, sir," said Willard ; " he will fight as long as a 
drop of blood remains in his veins." " The works must be carried 
immediately," was the quick response, and the British general 
turned to give the orders. 

The English commander might have occupied the neck of the 
peninsula and cut off the entire American forces. Instead, he 

1775. J 



landed at Morton's Point with about two thousand men, intending 
to march along the Mystic river and thus outflank the American 
line. Prescott sent a Connecticut regiment to check this move- 
ment. They took post behind a low stone wall and rail fence, in 
front of which they placed a second fence, filling the space between 
with new-mown hay. The artillery was stationed in the gap 
between the rail fence and breastwork. Ward, fearing an attack 
at Cambridge, refused to send reinforcements, but patriots singly 
and in squads dared the passage of the Charlestown peninsula, 
now raked by the enemy's fire, and came to the aid of their 
countrymen. Pomeroy, an old man of seventy, leaving his 
horse, which was a borrowed one, lest it might be killed on the 
way, shouldered a musket, and came on foot into the lines. Dr. 
Warren, who had just received his commission as major-general, 
reached the redoubt and served as a volunteer. Stark and his 
New Hampshire men took post with the Connecticut regiment, 
rapidly extending their line down to the river. Prescott sent back 
the entrenching 
tools to General 
Putnam, who was 
planning to fortify 
Bunker Hill, but 
the tired men who 
carried them took 
advantage of the 
opportunity and 
ran to the rear. 

Howe, seeing 
the strength of 
the American 
position, prudent- 
ly waited for rein- 
forcements. On 

their arrival, he formed his men. It was a moment of terrible sus- 
pense. The neighboring hills, the streets and roofs of Boston were 
crowded with anxious spectators. On the one side were fifteen 
hundred undisciplined yeomen, weary with their night's labor, 
hungry and thirsty, under a leader of no acknowledged reputation ; 
on the other, three thousand picked troops, richly uniformed and 
equipped ; officers and men who had won victories on many of the 
famous battlefields of Europe. The British slowly ascended the 




fJune 17, 
L 1775. 

hill, breaking their ranks only to throw down the fences and to 
pass the obstructions which lay in their way. As they drew near 
they opened a heavy fire, while all the time ships and floating bat- 
teries never ceased raining shot and shell upon the patriot lines. 
Prescott had instructed his men to wait until they could " see 
the whites of their enemies' eyes" before firing, and then "aim 
at their waistbands." The patriot ranks lay quietly behind their 

earthworks until the British 
were within ten rods, every 
piece sighted and pointed at 
its victim. Suddenly Pres- 
cott, waving his sword, shout- 
ed, u Fire ! " A blaze of light 
shot from the whole line ; soon 
another; and then another. 
Entire platoons went down 
before the terrible storm. 
The survivors, unwilling to fly, stood among the dead, bewil- 
dered, paralyzed, by the shock. At last, the bugles sounded the 
recall and they fell back to the shore. 

After a brief delay, Howe rallied his men and advanced a 
second time under cover of the smoke of Charlestown, which had 
been fired by his orders. Again they met that deadly discharge 
and again recoiled in dismay. 


Ju , n 775 7 '] BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. 1 55 

Clinton came with reinforcements from Boston, and a third 
attempt was now made. The British soldiers threw off their 
knapsacks and moved at the quickstep, with orders to use the 
bayonet only. The artillery was brought to bear on the fatal gap 
between the breastwork and the rail fence. The defenders of the 
former were quickly driven into the redoubt. This was attacked 
on three sides at once. The ammunition was scarce in the 
American ranks. Only one volley smote the British ; the head 
of their column was torn in pieces, but the main body poured 
over the ramparts, driving all before it. Even yet the patriots 
sturdily resisted ; most, having no bayonets, clubbed their mus- 
kets and disputed every inch. As a sample of the spirit of the 
day, one Salmon Steele is quoted, who, as he was leaving the 
redoubt, stumbled over a dead British soldier. On opening his 
enemy's cartridge-box and finding only one round was used, he 
strapped the box to his side, and fired the remaining ammunition 
with deadly aim before he left the field. Saddest of all that day's 
losses, Warren was shot by a British officer who knew him, as he 
was trying to rally his men. Stark, at the rail fence, when he 
saw the redoubt taken, sullenly retired. The British regi- 
ments, wounded and shattered, were unable to continue the 
pursuit. Putnam, collecting the fugitives, held Prospect Hill, 
scarce a mile in the rear of the battle-field. The English had lost 
over a thousand men, the Americans but four hundred and fifty. 
Sorrowful was the sight the sun beheld as it sank to rest. Where 
but the day before the mower had quietly swung the scythe, the 
dead now lay " thick as sheep in the fold." 

The effect of this battle upon the patriot cause was that of a 
victory. It had been proven that American farmers could stand 
firmly before the muskets of British regulars. The struggle for 
liberty might be a severe one, but there was a chance for suc- 
cess. " Americans will fight," Franklin wrote ; " England has 
lost her colonies forever." " Did the militia stand fire? " inquired 
Washington. When he learned that they not only did that, but 
withheld their own until the British were within ten rods, he 
exclaimed, " The liberties of the country are safe." From ridi- 
cule of American pretension, the British were suddenly startled 
into respect for American valor. The troops who expected to 
crush the " impudent rebels " in one easy charge, now boasted of 
their courage in advancing against so murderous a foe, and took 
credit for a bravery to which, it was averred, " no history could 

156 OPENING OF THE WAR. [ J $f£ 

produce a parallel." The colonists had at least compelled an 
acknowledgment of their claim to a decent regard. 

News of the fight at Bunker Hill reached Philadelphia on the 
22d. The next day Washington set out for Cambridge to take 
command of the army. On Monday, July 3, beneath the spread- 
ing elm since so famous in song and story, he formally assumed the 
command. Washington is described at this time as a tall, finely- 
proportioned, dignified man, with a strikingly noble and com- 
manding air. Mrs. Adams, who was present, wrote thus to her 
husband : " Those lines of Dryden instantly recurred to me : 

' Mark his majestic fabric ! His a temple 
Sacred by birth, and built by hands divine ; 
His soul's the Deity that lodges there ; 
Nor is the pile unworthy of the God.' " 

According to the fashion of his time, he was dressed in a blue 
broadcloth coat faced with buff, buff small-clothes, silk stockings, 
shoulder epaulettes, and a cocked hat. As he wheeled his horse 
and drew his sword, a shout of enthusiasm went up from the 
assembled multitude. 

He found the army numbering about fourteen thousand. It 
was an army, however, only in name. In fact, it was merely an 
immense " gathering of neighbors, schoolmates, and friends," 
each with his own musket, powder-horn, and bag of bullets, and 
only such provisions as he had brought with him or as were 
sent into camp by his friends and others. Some of these had 
left home on the impulse of excitement, and already wearied of 
the monotony and peril of war. There were bitter jealousies 
growing out of the appointment of the higher officers by Con- 
gress. Many of the inferior officers were grossly inefficient, 
insubordinate, and over-confident. Few of the companies were 
disciplined or uniformed. Powder was so scarce that there was 
only enough to furnish nine cartridges to each man. " Our situa- 
tion in the article of powder is much more alarming than I had 
the faintest idea of," wrote Washington to Congress. Reed, 
Washington's secretary, reported that " almost the whole powder 
of the army was in the cartridge-boxes." " The bay is open : 
everything thaws here, except Old Put," facetiously wrote 
another ; " he is still as hard as ever, crying out for ' Powder, 
powder ! Ye gods, give us powder ! ' ' Washington immedi- 
ately set about organizing the troops and reforming abuses, 

July ( toOct.,j SIEGE OF BOSTON. 1 57 

meanwhile strengthening their position against any attempt of 
Gage to break out of Boston. Fortunately, such was the dis- 
couragement of the British leader that he never ventured even to 
make a sally. The provincial lines were nearly nine miles in 
length. Washington himself took command of the centre, Gen- 
eral Ward of the right wing, and General Charles Lee, a former 
British officer who had espoused the patriot cause, of the left. 

The first troops raised under the order of Congress were the 
Virginia riflemen. In less than sixty days, says Bancroft, twelve 
companies were in Washington's camp, having come on foot from 
four to eight hundred miles. The men, painted in the guise of 
savages, were strong and of great endurance ; many of them 
more than six feet high ; they wore leggins and moccasins, and 
an ash-colored hunting-shirt with a double cape ; each one 
carried a rifle, a hatchet, a small axe, and a hunter's knife. They 
could subsist on a little parched corn and game killed as they 
went along ; at night, wrapped in their blankets, they willingly 
made a tree their canopy, the earth their bed. The rifle in their 
hands sent its ball with unerring precision a distance of two or 
three hundred yards. Their motto was, " Liberty or Death." 
Newspapers of the day relate how they offered to shoot apples 
off one another's heads in true William Tell style ; how one man 
at sixty paces put eight balls through a paper the size of a dollar ; 
and another stuck his knife into a tree, and firing, halved his 
bullet upon the edge. 

During the summer and fall there was constant skirmishing 
around Boston. Transports bearing stores to the beleaguered 
troops were seized. Parties gathering hay and other supplies on 
the islands in the bay were attacked in the boldest manner. The 
English ships along the coast began a predatory warfare which 
did little harm, but bitterly exasperated the people. On Octo- 
ber 16, Captain Mowatt burned the town of Falmouth, now 
Portland, declaring that he had orders to destroy every seaport, 
between Boston and Halifax. 

While all these stirring events were transpiring around Bos- 
ton, the cause of liberty was kindling into life in the other 
colonies. In April, Dunmore, the detested governor of Virginia, 
imitating the action of Gage of Massachusetts, seized the powder 
in the magazine at Williamsburg. This overt act aroused 
general indignation. Patrick Henry headed the people in a call 
upon the governor, and they did not come away until he had 

i 5 8 


TApril 21, 
L 1775. 

promised to pay for the powder. The amount given, fifteen 
hundred dollars, was afterward found to be too large, and the 
balance was returned to Dunmore. The governor, alarmed by 
the situation of affairs, fortified his residence and issued a procla- 
mation against Henry 
and his compatriots. 
Some letters of the 
governor's, grossly mis- 
representing the colo- 
nists, were afterward 
intercepted, and these 
adding fuel to the flame, 
he was forced to take 
refuge on board a royal 
vessel. From this asy- 
lum he valiantly de- 
clared martial law, and 
called upon the slaves 
to leave their masters 
and help him in his 
emergency. He thus 
gathered at Norfolk a 
small force of blacks and royalists. November 28, the Vir- 
ginia militia came over to Great Bridge, where they threw 
up a fortification opposite the British fort built to defend the 
approach to Norfolk. A few days after, Dunmore, with the 
seamen from the ships and a mixed crowd of royalists and 
negroes, came out to drive them from their position. The 
negroes and loyalists stood at a safe distance, while the regulars 
bravely charged down the narrow causeway, one hundred and 
sixty yards long, at the end of which was the entrenchment. 
The fire of the sharpshooters was terrific. The British leader, 
Fordyce, fell, struck by fourteen balls. The rest fled, leaving 
half their number behind. The Virginians lost not a man, and 
only one received a slight wound. After the firing ceased, they 
hastened to bring in their wounded foes who might need the 
surgeon's aid. So little did the British understand their generous 
sympathy, that the sufferers shrank from their approach, expect- 
ing the tomahawk or the scalping-knife. " For God's sake," cried 
one, " don't murder us." " Put your arm about my neck," was 
the quiet reply, and the sturdy Virginian, who had just laid 



down his rifle, tenderly supported his wounded enemy to the 
breastworks. Captain Leslie, who commanded the negroes and 
tories, was so touched by the gentle act, that he stepped upon the 
platform of the fort and bowed his respectful thanks to the 
" shirtmen," whose hearts were as kind as their souls were brave. 
The next night the British abandoned the fort and fled to the 
protection of their ships. 

On New Year's day, 1776, Dunmore landed troops which set 
fire to Norfolk, the richest town in Virginia. Finally, abandoning 
the Old Dominion, he sailed with his followers for the West 
Indies. Though largely monarchical in feeling and Episcopal in 
worship, Virginia had already given a leader to the Democratic 
and Presbyterian army that beleaguered Boston. By this last act 
her alienation from the crown was made complete. 

In New England the feeling against the British aggressions, as 
we have seen, was strong from the very first. This was natural, 
since the rigor of the English laws pressed most heavily upon 
that part of the country. " Here," says Sabine, " were the 
Roundheads, who met England in the workshops and on the 
ocean." Adams, in sight of the ashes of Charlestown and the 
trenches of Bunker Hill, wrote that Congress should at once 
adopt a constitution and provide for defence. His letters were 
published by the royalists in the expectation that they would 
destroy his reputation and influence among the people. 

In the Middle and Southern States the feeling was far from 
unanimous. Tories were thick in Maryland, Pennsylvania, South 
Carolina, and Georgia. New York was a stronghold of the 
royalists, and it was long doubtful which way the assembly would 
eventually go. In Queens county the inhabitants, by a vote of 
more than three to one, refused to send delegates to the Provin- 
cial Congress. The Delanceys and Phillipses in Westchester, 
staunch friends of the king and vast land-holders, so influenced 
their numerous tenantry, that all the patriotism of Van Court- 
landt and of Morris of Morrisania could only hold a nearly equal 

While Washington was en route for the camp at Boston, a 
complication arose at New York which curiously illustrates the 
condition of affairs and the indecision of many of the people. " At 
the same time with his arrival," says Sparks, " news had come 
that Governor Tryon was in the harbor, just arrived from Eng- 
land, and would land that day. The Provincial Congress were 

l6o OPENING OF THE WAR. [ M |7$|. Q 

a good deal embarrassed to determine how to act on this occa- 
sion ; for though they had thrown off all allegiance to the 
authority of their governor, they yet professed to maintain 
loyalty to his person. They finally ordered a colonel to so dis- 
pose of his militia as to be ready to receive ' cither the General or 
Governor Tryon, whichever should first arrive, and wait on both as 
well as circumstances would alloiv.' ' 

As New York city was exposed to a bombardment from the 
English vessels, the merchants were often exceeding timid, even 
when their sympathies were with the patriots. Governor Tryon 
had announced that Lord Dartmoor, in command of the fleet, had 
orders to consider and treat any city taking a decisive part, as in 
open rebellion. The utmost zeal of the whigs for a long time 
made little head against the fears of some and the opposition of 
others. A committee of public safety, however, had been ap- 
pointed. The tories did all they could to embarrass any action, 
and to furnish the British ships in the bay with information and 
provisions. At last, Congress having recommended the arrest of 
any person whose going at large was likely to endanger the safety 
of the colonies, Governor Tryon took alarm and went on board a 
vessel. Here he was in constant intercourse with the tories, and 
encouraged every movement of hostility to the patriot cause. 

The course of Pennsylvania was undecided, since, besides its 
royalist population, it was a Quaker colony, and the religious 
principles of the people forbade any forcible resistance to the 
tyranny of their rulers. While the precipitate action of Gage 
and Dunmore hurried the colonies under their immediate 
authority into rebellion, the governors of Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland were prudent and wisely 
watched the progress of affairs. Hence in these colonies there 
was little disturbance, and the people quietly waited the action of 
the British government. 

North Carolina was largely whig from the start. The regu- 
lators of that State were the first to take up arms to secure their 
rights. As early as May, 1775, the patriots of Mecklenburg 
county met at Charlotte and declared their allegiance to king and 
parliament forever ended. The Mecklenburg Declaration was 
issued fourteen months before the Colonial Congress met in Phil- 
adelphia and the old State-house bell rang out liberty to all the 
land. In South Carolina, on the other hand, the royalists were 
numerous, active, and probably in the majority. The income of 

July 4, T 
1775. J 



the planters and the commerce of Charleston itself rested upon 
raw products raised and shipped to England. The ties of 
interest, business, and friendly relationship all bound the princi- 
pal men to the mother country. War would sunder these at 
once. Yet the patriots of this colony, which had so much at 
stake, perilled all, drove off the royal governor, fortified Charles- 
ton, and took their government in their own hands. 

Georgia was also friendly to parliament, and, indeed, was not 
represented in the Continental Congress until the second session, 
delegates being elected July 4, 1775. 

In looking back upon it now, the action of Congress seems to 
us to have been timid and uncertain. It had forwarded a second 
petition to the British government, and the majority still fondly 
dreamed of reconciliation with England. At tb<* most, said they, 
a single campaign will show the king the folly of coercion. The 
truth is, the colonists yet clung to their English traditions with 
wonderful tenacity. They earnestly 
desired a settlement of their diffi- 
culties, and a restoration to their 
old situation. They hoped only for 
a redress of certain grievances, and 
then all would be well. Jefferson 
afterward wrote that the " possibil- 
ity of a separation from England 
was contemplated with affliction by 
all." Washington said, " When I 
first took command of the army, I 

abhorred the idea of independence ;" and John Adams even, the 
very palladium of American independence, declared that " there 
was not a moment during the Revolution when I would not have 
given everything I possessed for a restoration to the state of things 
before the contest began, provided we could have a sufficient 
guaranty for its continuance." Dickinson, from the beginning 
the patriot leader of Pennsylvania, opposed the Declaration of 
Independence in 1776 to the very last. Under these circum- 
stances, Congress was timorous. Franklin's plan of a confedera- 
tion, considered twenty-one years before, in Albany, was brought 
out again, but laid aside. Troops were enlisted only until an 
answer could be expected from the petition. A third million 
dollars in paper was ordered to be printed ; but Congress had 
no power to lay taxes of any kind ; while commerce was dead, and 


1 62 OPENING OF THE WAR. [1775. 

there were no imports. Promises of thirteen colonies, distracted 
by war and internal dissension, to pay at some indefinite time, 
were sure to depreciate from the beginning. It seemed the best, 
however, that could be done. 

Meanwhile the British government was straining every nerve 
to recruit its armies in America. British emissaries were busy 
among the Five Nations of central New York and the savage 
Indians of Canada, urging them to take up arms against the colo- 
nists. The " Olive Branch," as the petition to the king was styled, 
was rejected. Trade with the colonies was forbidden. American 
vessels, and all others found trading in American ports, with 
their cargoes, were liable to seizure, and the crews to be treated 
as slaves. Treaties were made with certain German princes, 
who promised to furnish seventeen thousand men for the Amer- 
ican war at thirty -six dollars per head. The Landgrave of Hesse- 
Cassel sent the largest number, hence these mercenaries were 
called Hessians. 

The obstinacy of the king, the refusal even to hear the re- 
spectful petition read in parliament, the passage of these violent 
measures, and especially the hiring of foreign mercenaries, filled 
the cup of England's wrongs to her colonies. Separation and war 
were inevitable. 

Congress invited the other British colonies in America to 
unite with them in asserting their rights. As Canada refused to 
take part in the movement, and British forces ascending the St. 
Lawrence could thence attack the colonies in the rear, it was de- 
cided, if possible, to wrest that country from the crown. Early in 
the summer and fall of 1775, General Montgomery, commanding 
an expedition, captured St. John's, at the foot of Lake Champlain, 
within the Canadian border. Thence pushing on to Montreal, he 
took that city, and advanced through the ice and snow of Decem- 
ber upon Quebec. 

Meanwhile a force under General Arnold, detached from the 
beleaguering army at Boston, had ascended the Kennebec River, 
and made its way northward through the pathless wilderness. 
With this indefatigable leader were Morgan, Greene, Meigs, and 
Aaron Burr — then a young man of twenty, afterward Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States. No pen can describe the horrors of 
their march. Making their way with infinite toil ; carrying their 
boats, baggage, and ammunition past the rapids and marshy 
swamps ; exposed to rain and storm ; crossing swollen streams ; 

Nov. 10,1 
1775. J 



barefooted and with clothes torn almost to nakedness ; cold, wet, 
weary, and sick ; with the last ox killed ; the last dog eaten ; then 
roots and moose-skin moccasins devoured in the extremity of 
hunger; finally, after two days of starvation, the famished troops 
emerged among the Canadian settlements. On the 10th of No- 
vember they appeared like spectres upon the banks of the St. 
Lawrence, opposite Quebec. Morgan's riflemen wore linen hunt- 
ing-shirts. By some mistake, in the news of their coming, the 
word toile became changed to tolc, and the simple peasants heard 
to their amazement that the advancing army were clad in sheet- 
iron. Securing boats with the greatest difficulty, Arnold crossed 
the river, landed in the same cove where Wolfe made his daring 
attempt, and climbed to the Plains of Abraham. He here sum- 
moned the city to surrender ; but in vain. Soon after, he was 
joined by Montgomery, who took the command. Their com- 
bined forces did not number one thousand men and a few small 
cannon, yet they 
proposed to be- 
siege the greatest 
fortified city in 
America, mount- 
ing two hundred 
guns and defend- 
ed by an army 
twice as large as 
their own. But 
Montgomery had 
been a companion 
of Wolfe, and he 
emulated his glo- 
rious example. 
For a time he en- 
deavored to pro- 
voke the garrison to come out and fight in the open field ; but 
Carleton, the governor, was present when Montcalm ventured to 
leave the protection of the walls, and he did not propose to 
repeat the rash experiment. Montgomery was forced to begin 
a regular siege. The ground was frozen too hard to trench for 
planting the battery, so he filled the gabions and fascines with 
snow, over which he poured water. This made a solid rampart 
of ice to protect the men as they worked the guns. Three 


164 OPENING OF THE WAR. l°mi! t 

weeks of useless labor followed. Perils thickened. The artillery 
was too light to breach the walls ; small-pox and other diseases 
broke out among the troops ; the enlistment of the men had 
nearly expired, and soon the army would break up. Montgom- 
ery decided to venture all upon an assault. The preparations 
were carefully made. There were to be two feigned movements 
upon the upper town to distract the attention of the besieged, 
while the real attacks were made by Montgomery and Arnold on 
the lower town. The former general was to advance along the 
St. Lawrence, and the latter, the St. Charles River, and both were 
to unite in storming the Prescott Gate. 

It was the last morning of the year 1775. The men were ready 
at two o'clock. To recognize one another in the dark, they placed 
in the front of their hats bits of white paper, on which some of 
them wrote Patrick Henry's words, " Liberty or Death." It was 
storming bitterly as they sallied out from their rude huts, and 
stumbled through and against the cutting hail and deep-driving 
snow. They tried to protect their guns as best they could, but 
they soon became useless. Montgomery, advancing along the 
river at the foot of Cape Diamond Cliff, helped with his own hands 
to push aside the huge blocks of ice, and, struggling through the 
drifts, cheered on his panting men. As they rushed forward, a 
rude block-house appeared through the blinding storm. " Men of 
New York," he shouted, " you will not fear to follow where your 
general leads." Charging upon it, he fell at the first fire. His 
followers, disheartened, fled. Arnold, in the meantime, ap- 
proached the opposite side of the city. While bravely fighting 
he was severely wounded and borne to the rear. Morgan, his 
successor, pressed on the attack with his riflemen ; but at last, 
unable to retreat or advance against the tremendous odds, now 
that Montgomery's assault had failed, he took refuge in the neigh- 
boring houses, where he was finally forced to surrender. The 
remainder of the army, crouching behind mounds of snow and 
ice, maintained a blockade of the city until spring. Congress, 
blindly bent on keeping up the useless struggle, ordered Washing- 
ton to send his best men and officers, and to divide his scanty 
supply of powder, for the siege of Quebec. It was in vain. The 
garrison laughed outright as they saw General Wooster, the new 
commander, in his big wig, spying out their weak points. They 
knew they were invincible. 

May 1st, General Thomas assumed control of the blockading 

July, "I 
1776 J 


I6 5 

army. He decided to retreat. It was already too late. Rein- 
forcements from England were fast arriving in Quebec. Before 
he could remove his sick the garrison sallied out from the gates 
and drove his men in confusion. Many of the sick, amid the 
hurry, crept off among the Canadian peasants, who nursed them 
kindly, while Carleton gave them the privilege of entering the 
hospital, with leave to return home when they were fully recov- 
ered. Thomas dying of the small-pox, Sullivan took command. 
He attempted the offensive, but was soon forced to resume the 

It was not until July that the fragments of the army of Canada, 
then under Gates, safely reached Crown Point. Terrible was 
their condition. " There was not a hut," says Trumbull, " which 
did not contain a dead or dying man ;" while a physician, witness- 
ing the arrival of the sick, declared that he " wept at their suffer- 
ings until he could weep no more." 




URING the winter of 1775-6, Con- 
gress and the country were impa- 
tient at Washington's inactivity. 
He dared not make known his 
real weakness. He could not 
publish the facts : that for six 
months he never had powder 
enough for a battle ; that the 
military chest was empty, the 
men appointed to sign the paper- 
promises being too lazy to do the 
work ; that he lacked bayonets ; 
that two thousand of his men had 
no muskets ; that, by the expiration of enlistments, he had to dis- 
band one army and recruit another ; and all this in the presence 
of the enemy. Toward the close of December, the Connecticut 
troops, having served their time of enlistment, determined to 
leave in a body. Washington was greatly hurt by this lack of 
patriotism. He tried to stimulate their zeal by frequent appeals, 
and made the camp to resound with popular songs of heroism and 
liberty. But it was all in vain. " The desire of retiring into a 
chimney-corner seizes the troops as soon as their terms expire," 
he wrote reproachfully. So little sympathy did these recreant 
troops find on their way homeward that they could hardly get 
enough to eat, and when they reached their own firesides they 
found the honest indignation of their patriot wives and mothers 
a so much harder thing to face than the mouth of the enemy's 
cannon, that many were glad soon to return to camp. 

Washington, in spite of all these discouragements, resolutely 
laid his plans, and made ready for a grand stroke which he hoped 

M f776. 4 '] EVACUATION OF BOSTON. \6y 

would be decisive. On the 4th of March, just after the candles 
were lighted in the houses of Boston, he suddenly opened a tre- 
mendous fire on the city from all his batteries. The enemy replied. 
Soon the air was heavy with the roar of the guns, and the streets 
were full of citizens and soldiers watching the flight of the shells 
and dreading their fall and explosion. Under cover of the noise 
and confusion, Dorchester Heights were occupied, entrenchments 
thrown up with bales of pressed hay, an abattis made of the trees 
in the neighboring orchards, and even barrels of stone provided 
to roll down on an advancing enemy. In the morning the Eng- 
lish were astonished to see on a height commanding the city a 
formidable-looking fortress looming indistinctly through the ris- 
ing fog." " The rebels," exclaimed Howe, " have done more work 
in one night than my whole army would have done in a month." 
" We must drive them from that post," said Colonel Monckton, 
"or desert the place." A storm prevented an immediate attack, 
a delay which was well improved by the provincials. General 
Howe, who was then in command, remembering the lesson of 
Bunker Hill, decided to leave. Indeed, there was no alternative. 
The British troops had no stomach for another fight. The Amer- 
ican cannon completely commanded the harbor, and the admiral 
refused to remain. Gage accordingly set sail for Halifax on the 
17th with his entire army and about eleven hundred loyalists. 
Washington's end was accomplished, and not twenty men had 
been lost since he took command. 

It was a bitter pill for the English. The generals who had 
come expecting to run over the colonies at their pleasure, and 
had even brought with them fishing-rods, as if on a holiday ex- 
cursion, had, instead, been cooped up close to their landing-place 
for months, and were now forced to ignominiously leave their 
winter-quarters, and to lower their flag without the satisfaction 
of firing a parting shot. But how sad was it for the loyalists 
who had clung to the king, and now, startled by finding the army 
unable to protect them, were suddenly forced to leave native 
land, home, and property, and henceforth to drag out a useless 
life on a dreary shore, pensioners on the bounty which the gov- 
ernment pityingly doled out to them in their distress ! 

For eleven months the inhabitants had endured the horrors of 
a siege and the insolence of the soldiery. Houses and shade- 
trees had been burned for fuel. The Old North Meeting-House 
had thus passed into ashes, the Old South being reserved for a 

1 68 INDEPENDENCE YEAR. [ Fe i7' 7 6. 7 

riding-school. An elegantly carved pew with silk hangings, 
belonging to the latter, was taken by one of the officers for a pig- 
sty. Faneuil Hall was converted into a theatre. One evening, 
before a house packed with troops and tories, a play was in pro- 
gression called " The Blockade of Boston," being a broad bur- 
lesque on the patriot army. Washington herein appeared as "an 
awkward lout, equipped with a huge wig and a long rusty sword, 
attended by a country booby as orderly sergeant, in rustic garb, 
with an old firelock seven or eight feet long." It was very funny, 
and when a British sergeant suddenly came to the front, exclaim- 
ing in excited tones, " The Yankees are attacking Bunker's Hill ! " 
it was loudly applauded as a piece of magnificent acting. But, 
directly, the clear, commanding voice of General Howe rang 
out, " Officers, to your alarm-posts." The scene was quickly 
changed. Women shrieked and fainted ; men jumped to their 
feet ; everybody scrambled over everybody else to reach the 
open door. The ridiculous general and his frowsy sergeant were 
left upon the stage to tumble out of their clownish masquerades 
as best they might, while the soldier audience hastened with 
quite different expectations to meet, perhaps, the real Washing- 
ton. But it proved to be General Putnam, who, swooping down 
upon Charlestown, fired the guard-house, took a handful of pris- 
oners, and escaped, without loss, back to the American quarters. 

All this was now passed. Those who had been so long exiled 
from their homes returned to the city. Ancient customs were 
renewed. We read how on Thursday evening following, Wash- 
ington attended the regular week-day lecture, and the congrega- 
tion together thanked God for the restoration of their beloved 
Zion, its " stakes unmoved " and its " cords unbroken." " It 
seemed," says Bancroft, " as if the old century was reaching out 
its hands to the new, and the Puritan ancestry of Massachusetts 
were returning to bless the deliverer of their children." 

Governor Martin of North Carolina, following in the footsteps 
of Dunmore, sought to combine the friends of the king, and thus 
check the rising tide of liberty in his State. He accordingly 
authorized Donald McDonald, a noted Highlander at Cross 
Creek, now Fayetteville, to raise the loyalists of that region. 
Soon fifteen hundred had gathered about the standard of this 
faithful Scotchman. The patriots, however, were awake. Colonel 
Moore, with a large body of regulars and militia, approached his 
headquarters and cut off all his communications with Governor 

Feb. 27,1 
1776. J 



Martin. McDonald, finding he could not intimidate the " rebels," 
thereupon rapidly retreated toward Wilmington, where he 
hoped to join the governor and also await General Clinton, who 
was expected to arrive from the North with reinforcements. At 
Moore's Creek, however, he found his retreat cut off by Colonels 
Caswell and Lillington with one thousand minute-men. The 


brave Highlander resolved to cut his way through the gathering 
foes. Early in the morning of February 27, to the sound of bag- 
pipes and bugle, the royalists advanced to the charge. When 
within twenty paces, the whigs rose from their ambush, while 
another party under Lieutenant Slocum, by a circuit came upon 
the enemy's rear. In a few minutes the tory army was utterly 
routed, with a loss of seventy killed and wounded, while the 
patriots had only two of their number injured. This battle de- 
cided the fate of the royal cause in North Carolina ; and soon 
after the governor took refuge on a British vessel. 

An anecdote is told of the wife of Lieutenant Slocum, who 
was as heroic as himself. After her husband departed, she saw 
him in a dream lying dead on the ground. Awaking in great 
distress, she arose, saddled a horse, and rode at full gallop 
through the swamp in the direction taken by the troops. At nine 
in the morning she neared the battle-field. One of the first 
objects she saw was the lieutenant's cloak wrapped around a 
body stretched upon the ground. With sinking heart, she dis- 


mounted, to find, not her husband, but one of his wounded men. 
She washed his face, bound up his wounds, and was performing 
the like office to a second sufferer when her astonished husband 
came up. She remained all day, caring for the wounded loyalists 
with true Samaritan kindness. At midnight she started for her 
home, where a mother's duties were required. In less than forty 
hours this wonderful woman rode one hundred and twenty-five 
miles, spending the time when out of her saddle, not in taking 
rest, but in dressing the wounds of her enemies. 

Though the British had abandoned Boston, they had not given 
up the war. The next movement was destined for the South. 
Early in June, Admiral Parker appeared off the harbor of 
Charleston with a strong fleet, having on board General Clinton 
with about twenty-five hundred land troops. The South Caro- 
linians had received news of their probable coming, and were 
hard at work getting ready to give their unwelcome visitors a 
hot reception. Fort Sullivan, a fort on an island of the same name, 
commanded the entrance to the harbor. It was built of two rows 
of palmetto logs, sixteen feet apart, the space between being filled 
with sand. Major-General Charles Lee, who had been sent by 
Washington to watch the seaboard, had no confidence in this rude 
fortress, and was anxious to have it abandoned. He declared that 
it was but a " slaughter pen," provided only twenty-eight rounds 
of ammunition for twenty-six of its guns, and repeatedly urged 
the necessity of securing the retreat of the garrison. But the 
brave Carolinians proposed to hold the place. " What do you 
think of it now ? " said an officer to Colonel Moultrie, as they 
were surveying the British line of ships, all of which were 
already over the bar. " We shall beat them," was the determined 
reply. " The men-of-war will knock your fort down in half an 
hour," returned the other. " Then," said Moultrie, nothing 
daunted, " we will lie behind the ruins and prevent their men 
from landing." 

On the morning of the 28th the British fleet took position and 
opened a terrific fire. The balls sank into the porous, spongy 
palmetto logs without breaking or splintering them. Moultrie 
slowly replied, but each shot told, and the ships in a few hours 
were completely riddled. At one time, every man except 
Admiral Parker was swept from the deck of his vessel. In the 
early part of the action the staff was struck by a ball, and the 
flag, the first Republican banner hoisted at the South, fell out- 

June 28, "1 
1776. J 




side the fort. 
Sergeant Jas- 
per leaped 
over the breastwork, 
about which the balls 
were thickly flying, caught 
the flag, and springing back, 
tied it to a sponge staff and 
hoisted it again to its place. Gen- 
eral Clinton, who commanded the 

British land troops, tried to attack the fort in the rear, but Thom- 
son's riflemen, posted behind myrtle bushes and sand hills, made 
it too hot for him. The fleet was at last so badly shattered that 
it withdrew and sailed for New York. This victory gave the 
colonists great delight, as it was their first encounter with the 
boasted " mistress of the seas." The fort so gallantly defended 
was christened Moultrie. It had saved not only a city, but a 
province. The next day Governor Rutledge offered the brave 
Jasper a sword' and a lieutenant's commission. He modestly 
refused the latter, saying, " I am not fit for the company of officers ; 
I am content to be a sergeant." 

Gradually, but surely, the colonists were being weaned from 
the mother country. Day by day for nearly a year the sword 
had been busy, cutting the ties which had so long bound them to 


Great Britain. Since the king had pronounced them " rebels," 
the feeling had been gaining ground that independence was the 
only hope. No one did better work toward accomplishing this 
result than Thomas Paine, who, coming from England the year 
before, had been induced by Franklin and others to use his pen 
in behalf of the colonists. His first essay, entitled Common Sense, 
in plain, simple language urged the necessity of at once separat- 
ing entirely from England. Every line glowed with the spirit of 
liberty, and men's hearts were thrilled as they read. The pam- 
phlet reached Congress, then in session at Philadelphia, January 8, 
the day after the news had arrived of the burning of Norfolk by 
Dunmore. It produced a powerful impression. Washington, 
writing to Secretary Reed, says : " A few more such flaming 
arguments as were exhibited at Falmouth and Norfolk, added to 
the sound doctrine and unanswerable reasoning contained in 
' Common Sense,' will not leave numbers at a loss to decide." 

In April, at the opening of the courts in South Carolina, the 
chief justice charged the jury that they " owed no obedience to 
George III." The British flag kept its place on the State-house 
of Virginia until May of this year, when the assembly directed 
the Virginia delegate in Congress to propose a dissolution of 
their allegiance to Great Britain. Washington wrote that 
" nothing but independence could save the nation." Accordingly 
on the 7th of June, Richard Henry Lee offered a resolution 
declaring that " These United Colonies are, and of right 

onded by John Adams. After a little discussion from the dele- 
gates of several colonies, who were pledged to vote against 
independence, a committee was appointed, consisting of Thomas 
Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and 
Robert R. Livingston, to propose a suitable Declaration ; Jefferson 
representing Virginia, from which the proposition emanated, and, 
being elected by the largest number of votes, was selected to 
draft it. Meanwhile, the delegates from the different colonies 
received instructions from their constituents how to vote upon 
the measure. July 2d, Lee's resolution was formally passed by 
twelve of the colonies; New York alone abstaining from the vote. 
Two days after, the Declaration having been closely debated by 
Congress, was adopted with but few amendments. 

While the protracted and oftentimes severe discussions over 
the Declaration were in progress, Jefferson remained silent ; John 

1776. J 



Adams being its stout defender. " During the debate," the 
former wrote in his journal, " I was sitting by Dr. Franklin, who 
observed that I was writhing a little under the acrimonious criti- 
cism of some of its parts ; and it was on that occasion that, by 
way of comfort, he told me the story of John Thompson, the 
hatter, and his new sign." All readers of Franklin's autobiography 
will remember the story : how the prospective shopkeeper, with 
much pride, laid out his plan for a sign, " John Thompson, hatter, 
makes and sells hats for ready money," accompanied by a picture 
of the article ; and how his critical friends picked first at this 
word and then at that as superfluous, till the dismayed shopman 
had nothing left but his name and the painted hat. The point was 
too obvious not to be enjoyed, especially when told in Franklin's 
happy style. 

During the day of the 4th the streets of Philadelphia were 
crowded with people anxious to learn the decision. In the steeple 
of the old State-house was a bell 
which, by a strange coincidence, 
was inscribed, " Proclaim liberty 
throughout all the land unto all the 
inhabitants thereof." In the morn- 
ing, when Congress assembled, the 
bell-ringer went to his post, placing 
his boy below to announce when the 
Declaration was adopted, that his 
bell might be the first to peal forth 
the glad tidings. Long he waited as 
the day wore on and the tedious de- 
liberations held the result in sus- 
pension. Impatiently the old man 

shook his head and repeated, " They will never do it ! They will 
never do it ! " Suddenly he heard his boy clapping his hands and 
shouting, " Ring ! Ring ! " Grasping the iron tongue, he swung 
it vigorously to and fro. The crowded streets caught up the 
sound. Every steeple re-echoed it. All that night, by shouts, 
and illuminations, and booming of cannon, the people declared 
their zeal and joy. 

" There was tumult in the city, 

In the quaint old Quakers' town, 

And the streets were rife with people, 

Pacing restless up and down ; — 



People gathering at corners, 

Where they whispered each to each, 
And the sweat stood on their temples, 

With the earnestness of speech. 

" As the bleak Atlantic currents 

Lash the wild Newfoundland shore, 
So they beat against the State-house, 

So they surged against the door; 
And the mingling of their voices 

Made a harmony profound, 
Till the quiet street of Chestnut 

Was all turbulent with sound. 

" ' Will they do it ? ' ' Dare they do it ? * 

'Who is speaking?' 'What's the news?' 
' What of Adams ? ' ' What of Sherman ? ' 

' Oh, God grant they won't refuse ! ' 
' Make some way there ! ' ' Let me nearer !' 

' I am stifling !' ' Stifle, then ! 

When a nation's life's at hazard, 
We've no time to think of men !' 

" So they beat against the portal, 

Man and woman, maid and child ; 
And the July sun in heaven 

On the scene look'd down and smiled ; 
The same sun that saw the Spartan 

Shield his patriot blood in vain, 
Now beheld the soul of freedom 

All unconquer'd rise again. 

ei See ! See ! The dense crowd quivers 

Through all its lengthy line, 
As the boy beside the portal 

Looks forth to give the sign ! 
With his small hands upward lifted, 

Breezes dallying with his hair, 
Hark ! with deep, clear intonation, 

Breaks his young voice on the air. 

81 Hush'd the people's swelling murmur, 

List the boy's strong, joyous cry ! 
8 Ring ! ' he shouts, ' Ring ! Grandpa, 
' Ring ! Oh, Ring for Liberty ! ' 
And straightway, at the signal, 

The old bellman lifts his hand, 
And sends the good news, making 
Iron music through the land. 


" How they shouted ! What rejoicing ! 

How the old bell shook the air, 
Till the clang of freedom ruffled 

The calm, gliding Delaware ! 
How the bonfires and the torches 

Illumed the night's repose, 
And from the flames, like Phoenix, 

Fair Liberty arose ! 

"That old bell now is silent, 

And hush'd its iron tongue, 
But the spirit it awakened 

Still lives, — forever young. 
And while we greet the sunlight, 

On the fourth of each July, 
We'll ne'er forget the bellman, 

Who, twixt the earth and sky, 
Rung out Our Independence: 

Which, please God, shall never die /" 

The Declaration had been duly authenticated by the president 
before being published. It was ordered to be engrossed on 
parchment, and on the 2d of August the fifty-four delegates 
present affixed their signatures. John Hancock's name, as presi- 
dent, led the rest. After he had written his name in a bold, clear 
hand, he rose from his seat and said, " There ! John Bull can 
read that without his spectacles, and may now double his reward 
of five hundred pounds for my head. That is my defiance." 
Turning to the rest, he added, " Gentlemen, we must be unani- 
mous ; we must all hang together." " Yes," replied Franklin, " or 
we shall all hang separately." The Declaration of Independence 
was read by Washington's orders at the head of the army then in 
New York. It created the greatest enthusiasm. That night the 
statue of George III. was torn from its pedestal. It was of lead, 
gilded, and being melted, made forty-two thousand bullets for the 
use of the troops. 

The Declaration of Independence completed the breach be- 
tween England and America. It clearly set before the colonists 
the object for which they were struggling, and combined England 
for the overthrow of the new Republic. Henceforth, the issue 
was Liberty or Slavery. There was no other choice. 1 he whig 
and tory parties were now more distinctly defined, and the most 
bitter hatred arose between them. Persons known as favoring 
the king were tarred and feathered by their patriotic neighbors, 

176 INDEPENDENCE YEAR. [ Jul |776. 12 ' 

and exhibited in this state to the derision of the crowd. Con- 
gress appointed committees to restrain these over-zealous mani- 
festations, but they were often powerless in the face of public sen- 

During this year and the next all the States either adopted a 
new constitution or remodeled their charters to adapt them to the 
necessities of free and independent States ; Rhode Island and Con- 
necticut only having to change the word "king" to "people" to 
effect this result. 

It is a noticeable fact that the founders of our government, 
when they threw off the bondage of Great Britain, had no direct 
intention of founding a republic. That idea came only as mature 
fruit from the blossom of free thought, borne by the tree of liberty, 
planted so long before on American soil. They revolted from 
George III., not because he was a king, but because he was a des- 
pot. They threw off the rule of Great Britain, not because it was 
a monarchy, but because it was tyrannical. They became a re- 
public, as that seemed the only thing to do. No one thought of a 
monarch. The people had learned how to govern themselves, and 
their rulers needed none of the false dignity that " doth hedge 
about a king." The colonies, for nearly a century and a half, all 
unconsciously, had wrought out the idea of a republic. It now 
came as naturally as the rain and the dew from heaven. 

After the evacuation of Boston, Washington thought that 
probably the British would next try to seize New York, both on 
account of its commercial importance and the strong tory element 
in that vicinity. He therefore, soon after, came to that city. The 
most vigorous preparations were made to complete the fortifica- 
tions, already begun by General Charles Lee. Troops Avere en- 
listed for three years, and a bounty of ten dollars offered to 
encourage recruiting. About twenty-seven thousand men were 
finally collected. Little over half of these were fit for duty. One 
regiment, we read, had only ninety-seven firelocks and seven bay- 
onets. The officers, many of whom were grossly incompetent, 
wrangled about precedence. The soldiers mistook insubordina- 
tion for independence. Sectional jealousies prevailed to such a 
degree, that a letter of the times reports that the Pennsylvania 
and New England troops were quite as ready to fight each other 
as the enemy. 

The first of July, General Howe arrived at Staten Island from 
Halifax. Soon after, he was joined by his brother, Admiral Howe. 

At J^i 6 '] BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND. 1 77 

from England, and Clinton, from the defeat of Fort Moultrie. 
They had thirty thousand men admirably disciplined and equip- 
ped ; among them about eight thousand of the dreaded Hessians. 
The fleet, consisting of ten ships-of-the-line, twenty frigates, and 
four hundred ships and transports, was moored in the bay ready 
to co-operate. Parliament had authorized the Howes to treat 
with the insurgents. By proclamation they accordingly offered 
pardon to all who would return to their allegiance. This docu- 
ment was published by direction of Congress, that the people 
might see what England demanded. An officer was then sent to 
the American camp with a letter addressed to " George Washing- 
ton, Esq." Washington refused to receive it. The address was 
afterward changed to " George Washington, &c, &c." The mes- 
senger endeavored to show that this bore any meaning which 
might be desired. But Washington utterly refused any communi- 
cation which did not distinctly recognize his position as com- 
mander-in-chief of the American army. Lord Howe was evi- 
dently desirous of a restoration of peace. He solicited an inter- 
view with Franklin, an old-time friend ; but events had gone too 
far. England would not grant independence, and the colonies 
would accept nothing less. War must settle the question. 

It was not till the last of August that Clinton crossed over the 
Narrows to Long Island. Brooklyn was fortified by a series of 
entrenchments and forts extending from Gowanus Bay to Wall- 
about. Here were stationed about eight thousand men under 
Generals Sullivan and Stirling. About two and a half miles south 
was a range of wooded heights traversed by three roads along 
which the British could advance ; one leading up directly from 
the Narrows and Gravesend to Gowanus Bay, a second from Flat- 
bush, and a third, the Jamaica road, cutting through the hills by 
the Bedford and the Jamaica passes. General Greene, who was 
intimately acquainted with the ground, being unfortunately sick, 
General Putnam was hastily sent over to take charge of the de- 
fence. General Stirling and General Sullivan occupied the heights, 
but, by a fatal oversight, the Jamaica road was unguarded. The 
English were not slow to take advantage of the opportunity. 

On the eve of the 26th, General Clinton, with Percy and Corn- 
wallis, crossed the narrow causeway called Shoemaker's Bridge, 
over a marsh near New Lots— where, it is said, a single regiment 
could have barred the way — and, before daylight, had seized the 
Bedford and the Jamaica passes, while the Americans were yet 

i 7 8 


TAug. 27. 
L 1776. 

unconscious of his having left Flatlands. Meanwhile General 
Grant moved forward along the coast, on the direct road, from 
the Narrows up to the hills at present embraced in Greenwood 
Cemetery. Here there was considerable skirmishing, but Stir- 
ling held him in check. Clinton, 
pushing down from the hills, now 
fell upon the American left, at 
Bedford. The sound of cannon in 
their rear filled the Americans 
with dismay. At that moment 
De Heister, with the Hessians, 
who had already begun 
to skirmish on the Flat- 
bush road, stormed Sul- 
livan's position. Re- 
treat was the patriots' 
only hope. It was, 
however, too late. 
Caught between the 
Hessians and the Brit- 
ish, they were driven 
to and fro, cut down by 
the dragoons, or bayo- 
neted without mercy 
by the Hessians and 
the Highlanders, who 
listened to no plea for 
quarter. Some took to 
the rocks and trees, and 

sold their lives as dearly as they could ; some broke through and 
escaped, pursued by the grenadiers to the American lines at Fort 
Putnam ; the rest were captured. 

Cornwallis hurried on with his corps to close in upon General 
Stirling, who was yet unaware of the disaster upon his left, at the 
same time firing two guns as a signal for Grant to attack the 
front. Stirling, with a part of Smallwood's regiment, composed 
of the sons of the best families in Maryland, turned upon this 
unexpected foe in his rear, determined by a heroic sacrifice to 
give the rest a chance for escape. He accomplished his design ; 
all his companions crossed Gowanus Creek in safety ; but he, 
himself, was captured, and two hundred and fifty-nine of the 





Marylanders lay dead on the field. Washington beheld the fight 
from a neighboring hill, and, wringing his hands in agony, ex- 
claimed, " What brave fellows I must lose this day ! " 

It was a sad augury for the Republic which had just issued 
its Declaration of Independence. The British loss was but 
four hundred and the American nearly one thousand. Of the 
latter, the larger part, with Generals Sullivan and Stirling, 
were prisoners. The higher officers were soon exchanged, 
but the hard lot 
of the privates 
and lower officers 
made the fate of 
those who per- 
ished in battle to 
be envied. Num- 
bers were con- 
fined in the sugar- 
house and the old 
hulks at Wall- 
about, where aft- 
erward so many 
other American prisoners suffered untold agonies. Here, fester- 
ing with disease, perishing with famine, and loathsome with filth, 
deprived of fresh air, water, and every necessary of life, eleven 
thousand Americans, it is said, found an untimely grave ere the 
war was over. 

Had Howe attacked the works at Brooklyn immediately, the 
Americans would probably have been utterly destroyed. Fortu- 
nately, he delayed for the fleet to co-operate ; but an adverse wind 
prevented. For two days the patriots lay helpless, awaiting the 
assault. On the second night after the battle there was a dense 
fog on the Brooklyn side, while in New York the weather was 
clear. A little before midnight, the Americans moved silently 
down to the shore and commenced to cross the river, near what is 
now the Fulton Ferry. Everything was planned with Washing- 
ton's peculiar precision. The guards, sentinels, and outer lines 
were ordered to remain quietly at their posts till the very last, that 
the enemy might suspect no movement. The stifled murmur of 
the camp, as each man took his place in silence for the march to 
the river-side, gradually died away in the distance. Suddenly the 
»-oar of a cannon burst upon the night-air. " The effect," says an 



TAug^ 30, 


American who was present, " was at once alarming- and sublime* 
If the explosion was within our own lines, the gun was probably 
discharged in the act of spiking it, and could have been no less a 
matter of speculation to the enemy than to ourselves." The 
mystery of that midnight gun remains still unexplained. Fortu- 
nately, it failed to rouse the British 
camp. Startled by this unexpected 
"^JVg contre -temps, the men reached the 

shore. Washington, feeling the ur- 
gent necessity for despatch, sent one 
?,. of his aides-de-camp to hurry up the 

troops in march. By mistake he gave 

the order to all who had been left 
behind. In the midst of embar- 
rassment and confusion at the 
ferry, caused by the change of 
tide and of wind, which beat back 
the sail -boats, the whole rear- 
guard arrived. " Good God ! 

General Mifflin ! " cried Washington, " I fear you have ruined us 
by so unseasonably withdrawing the troops from the advance 
lines." Mifflin somewhat warmly explained that he had only fol- 
lowed orders. " It is a dreadful mistake," exclaimed Washington; 



" and unless you can regain the picket lines before your absence 
is discovered, the most disastrous consequences may follow." 
Mifflin hastened back, but again the dense fog and Providence 
had favored them, so that though nearly an hour had intervened 
the desertion of their posts had not been noticed by the enemy 
At length their own time came, and the last boat pulled from the 
shore. The strain of the night was over and the army was saved. 
" What with the greatness of the stake, the darkness of the night, 
the uncertainty of the design, and the extreme hazard of the issue," 
says one, " it would be difficult to conceive a more deeply solemn 
scene than had transpired." 

This timely deliverance moved every pious American heart to 
profoundest gratitude, for if once the English fleet had moved up 
the East River and cut off communication between New York and 
Brooklyn, nothing could have saved the army from capture. 
Howe, not supposing an escape possible, had taken no precautions 
against such an event. It is said that a tory woman sent her 
negro servant to inform the British of the movements of the 
patriot army ; but he fell into the hands of the Hessians, who, not 
understanding a word of English, kept him until morning. After 
daybreak, and the fog had lifted, a British captain, with a handful 
of men, stealthily crept down through the fallen trees, and, crawl- 
ing over the entrenchments, found them deserted. 'A troop of 
horse hurried to the river and captured the last boat, manned by 
three vagabonds who had staid behind for plunder. 

Washington, conscious that, with the weakened and now dispir- 
ited army under his command, it was impossible to hold New 
York, wished to evacuate the city, but Congress would not con- 
sent. While awaiting the movements of Howe, Captain Nathan 
Hale of Connecticut consented to visit the English camp, and, if 
possible, find out their plans. He passed the lines safely and 
gained much valuable information, but on his return journey was 
recognized by a tory relative, who arrested him. He was taken 
to Howe's headquarters, and the next morning executed as a spy. 
No clergyman was allowed to visit him, nor was he permitted 
even a Bible in his last hours. His farewell letters to his mother 
and sister were destroyed. The brutality of his enemies did not, 
however, crush his noble spirit, for his last words were, " I only 
regret that I have but one life to give to my country." 

Having occupied Buchanan's and Montressor's islands, now 
Ward's and Randall's, Clinton, with a heavy body of troops, 

1 82 INDEPENDENCE YEAR. [ S *776 5, 

crossed the East River under the fire of the fleet early Sunday 
morning, September 15, and landed at Kip's Bay, at the foot of 
the present Thirty-fourth street. The American troops at this 
point fled from the entrenchments. It was all-important that the 
position should be held, as Putnam was in the city below with 
four thousand men, and time must be gained for them to escape. 
Washington came galloping among the fugitives and rallied them. 
But when two or three score red-coats came in sight, they broke 
again without firing a shot and scattered in the wildest terror. 
Losing all self-command at the sight of such cowardice, Wash- 
ington dashed forward toward the enemy, exclaiming, " Are these 
the men with whom I am to defend America ? " General Greene 
writes of this scene, that the poltroons " left His Excellency on the 
ground, within eighty yards of the enemy, so vexed at the infa- 
mous conduct of his troops that he sought death rather than 
life." He might indeed have fallen into the hands of the British, 
so overcome was he by the dastardly conduct of his soldiers, had 
not an aide-de-camp seized his horse by the bridle and hurried 
him away. Rallying his self-possession, Washington hastened to 
look after the safety of the rest of the army. It was a moment 
of extreme peril. Fortunately, on landing, Howe, Clinton, and 
some others called at the house of Robert Murray for refresh- 
ments. The owner, who was a Quaker, was absent, but his wife, 
a staunch whig, regaled them with such an abundance of cake 
and wine, and listened with such admirable attention to their 
humorous descriptions of her countrymen's panic, that their appe- 
tite and vanity got the better of their judgment, and kept them 
long at her delightful entertainment. Meanwhile, Putnam was 
hurrying his men along the Bloomingdale road, not a mile distant, 
under a burning sun, through clouds of dust, and liable at any 
moment to be raked by the fire of the English ships anchored in 
the Hudson. Thanks to the wit of the good Mrs. Murray, the 
British troops came up only in time to send a few parting shots 
at their rear-guard. Washington collected his army on Harlem 

That night the wearied troops lay on the open ground, in the 
midst of a cold, driving rain, without tent or shelter. Anxious to 
encourage his disheartened men, Washington, the same evening, 
ordered Silas Talbot, in charge of a fire-ship in the Hudson, to 
make a descent upon the British fleet. Accordingly, this brave 
captain, dropping down with the tide, steered his vessel alongside 


the Renomme. Stopping to grapple his antagonist surely, and 
to make certain of firing the trains of powder, he was himself 
fearfully burned before he could drop into the water. It was an 
awful scene. The British ships poured their broadsides upon his 
little boat as he was rapidly rowed away, while huge billows of 
flame bursting out from the fire-ship lighted up the fleet and the 
harbor with terrible distinctness. From every side boats put off 
to the rescue of the endangered vessel, which was finally brought 
safely away. But the entire British fleet slipped their moorings 
and quitted the stream. 

Early the next morning, the advance guard of the British de- 
scended into Harlem Plains, drove in the American pickets, and 
sounded their bugles as if in defiance. Washington rode to the 
outpost, near where is now the Convent of the Sacred Heart, and 
made his preparations to teach them a lesson. Engaging their 
attention by a skirmish in front, he sent Colonel Knowlton and 
Major Leitch to march around through the woods and cut off their 
retreat. A spirited contest ensued. The enemy were driven 
back upon the main body with great loss, while the Continentals 
suffered little. The success, however, was saddened by the death 
of both the commanding officers, killed in the moment of triumph- 
antly leading to victory the troops who the day before had fled so 

The British, on their entry into New York, were received 
by the tories with the greatest enthusiasm. Scarcely had they 
settled down in what they hoped would be snug winter-quar- 
ters, when a fire broke out, which destroyed about five hundred 
houses. The whigs were. accused of the incendiarism, and the 
enraged soldiers, with their bayonets, actually tossed several per- 
sons into the flames. They also hanged up one man by his heels 
until he died, discovering afterwards, however, that he was a 
staunch loyalist. 

Washington immediately took great pains to fortify his posi- 
tion on Harlem Heights, throwing up a series of entrenchments 
reaching from Harlem River to the Hudson, and protecting the 
right wing by Fort Washington. The army, however, was in a 
desperate condition. The term of service being nearly expired, it 
seemed on the eve of dissolution. The disheartened troops aban- 
doned their colors by hundreds ; whole regiments even returning 
to their homes. The Connecticut militia was reduced from six 
thousand to two thousand. "Among many of the subordinate 

1 84 INDEPENDENCE YEAR. [° Ct i776. 28, 

officers," says Lossing, "greed usurped the place of patriotism. 
Officers were elected on condition that they should throw their 
pay and rations into a joint-stock for the benefit of a company ; 
surgeons sold recommendations for furloughs for able-bodied men 
at sixpence each, and a captain was cashiered for stealing blankets 
from his soldiers. Men went out in squads to plunder from friend 
or foe, and immorality prevailed throughout the American army." 
The soldiers, too, had lost confidence in their principal officers, 
Washington alone commanding their fullest respect and unwaver- 
ing devotion. The men were true to him, and he was true to 
duty. He was already fast becoming the hope of the country. 

General Howe, unwilling to attack the American army in its 
strong position on Harlem Heights, determined to get in its rear. 
Leaving his own lines in front of New York well defended, he ac- 
cordingly moved up the Sound, and disembarked his troops at 
Throg's Point, Westchester county, while his fleet passed up the 
Hudson to cut off all communication with the western bank of the 
river. Washington was prepared for this movement, which he 
had already foreseen, and immediately ordered troops to occupy 
the causeways leading out from the little peninsula on which the 
British were encamped. The bridge being removed, and his ad- 
vance thus cut off, Howe crossed in his boats to Pell's Point (Pel- 
ham), and landing again, moved toward New Rochelle, where he 
was joined by the Hessians under Knyphausen. ' He now decided 
to occupy White Plains. Meanwhile, Washington had evacuated 
Manhattan Island, and, crossing to Fordham Heights, marched 
northward to head off the British. " The modern Fabius " kept 
his army on the high hills along the western bank of the Bronx, 
occupying in succession a series of entrenched camps reaching 
to White Plains, a distance of thirteen miles. The two armies 
marched parallel to each other, and there were frequent skir- 
mishes between the outposts, in which Washington took care that 
the Americans, who were now in fine spirits, should have the ad- 
vantage. Moving on the shorter line, Washington was the first 
to reach White Plains, where he threw up breastworks, meanwhile 
preparing an entrenched camp in his rear on the heights of North 
Castle. Howe, coming up, threw a part of his troops across the 
Bronx, and carried Chatterton's Hill. The patriot militia under 
McDougal held their rude breastworks over an hour, and then 
retreated in good order to the main line. The apparent strength 
of Washington's entrenchments, which consisted, it is said, in part, 

Oct. 31, 



HUDSON RIVER Southern Pan. 

of heaps of cornstalks covered with dirt and sod, caused Howe to 
await his reinforcements under Lord Percy. 

On the night of the 31st, amid a tempest of wind and rain, 
Washington quietly fell back upon the Heights of North Castle. 
On this formidable position, Howe dared 
not risk an assault, but withdrew to 
Fordham Heights. Washington, ap- 
prehending that the British would next 
carry the war into the Jerseys, and per- 
haps move on Philadelphia, crossed the 
Hudson and fixed his head-quarters in 
the Highlands, leaving General Lee at 
North Castle with about seven thou- 
sand men, until Howe's movements 
were more fully developed. 

During the encampment at White 
Plains an incident occurred which curi- 
ously illustrates the character of General 
Lee, then the most admired officer in 
the army, and whose coming had been 
looked for as that of " a flaming angel 
from heaven." The story is thus told 
by Sears : General Lee lodged in a small 
house, near which General Washington 
occasionally passed when observing the 
dispositions of the enemy. One day, 
accompanied by some of his officers, he 
called on General Lee and dined with 
him ; but no sooner was he gone than 
Lee, addressing his aide-de-camp, said : 
" You must look me out another place, 
for I shall have Washington and all his 
puppies continually calling upon me, 
and they will eat me up." Next day, 
seeing the commander-in-chief and his 
suite coming that way, and suspecting 
another visit, he ordered his servant to 
write on the door with chalk, " No victuals dressed here to-day." 
Perceiving this inscription, General Washington and his officers 
rode off, not a little amused at the incident and the oddities of 
Lee's character. 

Smite of American Army. Ill 
Route of British Army. ODD 

1 86 INDEPENDENCE YEAR. [ N |°776. 6 ' 

The scene now shifts to Fort Washington on the banks of the 
Hudson. A little force of three thousand men was here 
environed by the enemy in overwhelming numbers. Washington 
had been opposed to holding this post after the retreat of the 
Continental army, but Congress urged that it must be maintained, 
and General Greene, who was in command at Fort Lee, fully 
acquiesced in this view. Washington most reluctantly yielded 
his own opinion. On the eve before the final attack by the 
British, he was crossing the river to personally inspect the forti- 
fications, when he met Generals Greene and Putnam. They 
assured him that " the men were in high spirits and all would be 
well." It was already too late to evacuate the fort. Howe's 
plans were complete. 

The advanced line of entrenchments before the fort was about 
seven miles long and weakly defended. Early on the morning of 
November 16th, this was attacked at four different points. The 
Americans, though outnumbered five to one, made a gallant 
defence, but Cornwallis carried Laurel Hill ; Percy and Stirling 
on the south swept all before them ; while on the north, Knyphau- 
sen and Rail with the Hessians, clambering up the heights, catch- 
ing hold of branches and bushes, pushing through the under- 
brush, and tearing away the fallen trees, under a murderous fire, 
pressed to within one hundred paces of the fort and demanded its 
surrender. Washington, who was watching the fight from Fort 
Lee, " wept with the tenderness of a child " as he saw his men, 
while begging for quarter, bayoneted by the brutal Hessians. 
He sent over word, promising to bring off the garrison in the 
night if they could only hold out till then ; but there was no 
hope. Magaw, the commander, could get but half an hour's 
delay. The troops crowded into the fort were disheartened, and 
would no longer man the ramparts. The American flag was 
hauled down. Though the garrison had lost but one hundred 
and fifty men and the British five hundred, yet twenty-six 
hundred prisoners were given up, with artillery and stores which 
were invaluable to the patriot cause. 

Washington now turned all his thought to the probable cam- 
paign in New Jersey. He gave orders to immediately evacuate 
Fort Lee, as the plan of preventing the English fleet from ascend- 
ing the Hudson was now defeated by the capture of the more im- 
portant fort. Greene, however, was too slow. November 20th, 
Cornwallis crossed the Hudson, with a strong detachment, five 

N ° V " 2 {7 t 7 6. DeC " 8 '] RETREAT THROUGH NEW JERSEY. 1 87 

miles above Fort Lee, his marines dragging his cannon up the 
steep ascent to the top of the Palisades. A countryman brought 
the news to Greene, who sprang from his bed and took to flight 
with his men, leaving behind them tents standing, blankets un- 
rolled, and camp kettles over the fire. Washington, hearing of 
the danger, seized the bridge across the Hackensack, and covered 
the retreat so that all the fugitives, except a few stragglers, escaped. 

For eighteen long, weary days, Washington and his shattered 
army continued to fall back before the conquering forces of Corn- 
wallis. Many of the patriots had no shoes, and their footsteps on 
the frozen ground were traced in blood. There were but three 
thousand men in all, on a level country, with no entrenchments, 
and not a tool for throwing up defences. Newark, New Bruns- 
wick, Princeton, and Trenton, marked the successive stages in 
this bitter flight. The advance of Cornwallis entered Newark as 
Washington's rear-guard was leaving. At Brunswick, the term 
of service of the Jersey and Maryland brigades expired, and they 
refused to stay longer under the flag. At daybreak, December 1st, 
the disbanded soldiers scattered over the fields seeking the shelter 
of the woods, and the little remnant of the patriot army broke down 
the bridge over the Raritan, as Cornwallis's cavalry dashed into 
their late camp through the still smoking embers of their fires. 
At Princeton, Cornwallis was joined by Howe with fresh troops. 
The British unaccountably delayed here for seventeen hours. 
When they at last reached Trenton, December 8th, it was only to 
see across the deep, angry Delaware, the Continental rear watch- 
ing their approach. To cross was impossible, for, under Wash- 
ington's orders, every boat for seventy miles along the stream had 
been taken to the southern shore and placed under guard. 

During this march, messenger after messenger, order after 
order, had been sent to General Lee, to hasten from North Castle 
to the help of his commander-in-chief. Ambitious, flattered with 
the idea of a separate command, and with the praises of those who 
were continually contrasting his audacity with the caution of 
Washington, Lee lingered behind, hopeful of accomplishing some 
brilliant feat. It was not till December 4th that he crossed the 
Hudson. He then moved along by the British flank about twenty 
miles away, watching for a chance to " reconquer the Jerseys." 
But his presumption was soon to be bitterly punished. On the 
night of the 12th he stopped at Baskingridge with only a small 
guard. He did not breakfast till ten o'clock, and then tarried to 


CNov. to Dec, 

write to Gates a letter full of complaint and treason. It was not 
yet sealed when a cry of " The British ! " was raised. Instead of 
making an effort to escape, the coward came out, bareheaded, in 
slippers and blanket-coat, and begged for his life. The dragoons 
carried him off in this unsoldierly plight, without change, to their 
camp. Sullivan, who had now been exchanged, brought the army 
safely to the American quarters. Lee's reputation at this time 
was high, and when Congress learned that he was to be tried as a 
deserter, it set apart six British officers, then prisoners, to await 
his fate. This decided measure caused Lee to be released on 
parole. (December, 1777.) — Time has revealed the fact, however, 
that while in custody he offered to betray his adopted country. 

A carefully-prepared project for the con- 
quest of America, in Lee's handwriting, 
and endorsed by the secretary of the 
Howes, as " Mr. Lee's Plan," has lately 
been discovered in England, which con- 
clusively proves his treason. 

The condition of the country was now 
fearful in the extreme. New Jersey was 
overrun by the British army. The whigs 
were forced to hide where they could, and 
leave their families to the insults of a 
brutal soldiery. Houses, barns, and fences 
were burned, orchards cut down, crops 
and cattle carried off; women were sub- 
jected to every species of insult ; house- 
holds were plundered even of the cradles 
in which infants were rocked to sleep ; 
and " children, old men, and women were 
left in their shirts, without a blanket to 
cover them, under the inclemency of win- 
ter." Many of these families had printed protections, signed by 
order of the British commander; but they availed nothing. The 
Hessians could not, and the British would not, understand them. 
The former were utterly lawless. Without ceremony they entered 
dwellings, ordered the family out of their chairs at the breakfast, 
dinner, or supper table, and, seating themselves in their places, 
demanded the best the house could afford. Their appetite satis- 
fied, they roamed through the various apaitments, confiscating 
every article which caught their greed or fancy, with a simple 



" Dis is goot for Hesse-man," and happy for the trembling in- 
mates if the visit was not concluded with personal indignities. 
De Heister was the " Arch-plunderer," and set the example to all 
his followers. He had even the meanness to advertise the house 
in which he lived in New York for public sale, although it had 
been voluntarily given him for his use by its owner, a true loyalist. 
Worse than all, the American soldiers, infected by the general 
demoralization, took upon themselves to sack the houses of tories 
and loyalists, so that, between both armies, no property was secure. 
Washington was finally compelled to issue orders imposing the 
severest penalties upon " any officer found plundering the inhabi- 
tants, under the pretence of their being tories." 

In November, Howe had issued a proclamation offering full 
pardon to every one who should within sixty days submit to the 
royal authority. It was well timed. For ten days after the 
issuing of this proclamation two or three hundred persons daily 
flocked to the royal camp to take the oath of allegiance to the 
king. Among them were distinguished persons ; as, for example, 
Samuel Tucker, who had been president of the Provincial Con- 
gress and a most trusted patriot. Even John Dickinson refused 
to accept from Delaware a seat in the Continental Congress. To 
deepen the gloom still more, Clinton, with four brigades and a 
fleet under Parker, sailed for Rhode Island and landed at New- 
port the day that Washington crossed the Delaware. That State 
was now entirely under their control. Troops that were destined 
for Washington were detained in New England, and several 
American armed vessels were kept blockaded in Providence 
River. Along the Delaware the British army, twenty-seven 
thousand strong, admirably equipped, was now reaching its 
advance posts opposite Philadelphia, and it was expected that the 
English fleet would soon ascend the river. Congress, alarmed, 
fled from Philadelphia amidst the jeers of tories and the maledic- 
tions of patriots. Howe had already written home, " Peace 
must be the consequence of our successes." No wonder that the 
hearts of men misgave them in this hour of trial. Yet there were 
still patriots whose hopes were bright and whose courage stood 
high. John Adams wrote, " I do not doubt of ultimate success." 
Washington remained calm and unmoved, and his serene patience 
touched the hearts of all. Misfortune only mellowed and ripened 
his magnificent faith, and in all that he said or did there seemed 
an inspiration. 


It was in the midst of winter ; the English had gone into can- 
tonments reaching from Brunswick to below Burlington. Howe 
was in New York, where all was now as merry as a marriage- bell. 
British and Royalist vied in making the city gay with festival and 
flag, in honor of the approaching decoration of Lord Howe as 
Knight of the Bath, conferred upon him in return for his distin- 
guished services. The officers in their comfortable quarters were 
arranging to pass away the idle hours in theatrical performances 
for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the war. Cornwallis, 
thinking the war over, had sent his baggage on board a vessel to 
return home. Throughout the British army there was the pro- 
foundest contempt for the Americans. Grant, who was left in 
command of Cornwallis's division, declared that with a corporal's 
guard he could march anywhere in the Jerseys. " Washington's 
men," he wrote, " have neither shoes, nor stockings, nor blankets ; 
they are almost naked, and are dying of cold and want of food." 
So he argued they were not to be feared. How little he realized 
the stuff of which patriots are made ! 

Rail, who was stationed at Trenton with about fifteen hundred 
men, principally Hessians, made light of a rumor that he was 
likely to be attacked. One of his officers having suggested that 
it would be well to throw up some works to provide against a 
possibility of assault, he laughed the idea to scorn. " An assault 
by the rebels ! Works ! pooh ! Let them come. We'll at them 
with the bayonet." " Herr Colonel," urged the more prudent 
major, " it will cost almost nothing, and if it does no good, it can 
do no harm." Rail only laughed the more heartily at such a 
ridiculous project, and, turning on his heel, sauntered off to hear 
the musicians, whom he kept almost constantly at their instru- 
ments for his own entertainment. " Whether his men were well 
or ill-clad, whether they kept their muskets clean or their ammu- 
nition in good order, was of little moment to him ; he never 
inquired about it ; but the music ! that was the thing ! the haut- 
boys — he never could have enough of them." 

Washington was resolved, as he said, " to clip the wings " of 
the Hessians, who, by their brutality and cupidity, had excited 
such universal detestation. The approaching Christmas, a time 
of general festivity among the Germans, offered a favorable op- 
portunity. The plans were carefully laid. Washington was to 
cross the Delaware about nine miles above Trenton, and, march- 
ing down the river, fall upon the troops at that place. Ewing, 

Dec. 25-26,1 
1776. J 



with the Pennsylvania militia, was to cross a mile below the town, 
and, securing the bridge over the Assanpink, a creek flowing 
along the south, cut off the retreat of the enemy. General Gates 
was to take command of troops under General Putnam, Cadvval- 
Jader, and Colonel Reed, and, crossing at Bristol, to fall upon 
Count Donop at Bordentown. The night was dark and stormy, 
with sleet and snow ; the river angry and threatening, with cakes 


of grinding ice ; so bitter was the cold that two of the men were 
frozen stiff in death. Putnam was detained at Philadelphia by 
rumors of insurrection. Cadwallader, honest and zealous, came 
down to the river, but found the floating ice so thick that he sent 
back word he could not cross. Ewing did not even make an 
attempt. Reed, discouraged, went into the enemy's lines at Bur- 
lington, and, it is said, obtained a protection from Donop. Gates, 
impatient of control, disobeyed orders, and set out for Baltimore 
to intrigue with Congress. There was different stuff in Washing- 
ton and his officers. Here were Stark, Greene, Stirling, Sullivan, 
Knox, Monroe, Hamilton — heroes all. 

Just as they reached the river, a courier came announcing the 
failure of Gates. He had easily traced the track of the army by 
the blood on the snow from those whose shoes were broken. All 

I92 INDEPENDENCE YEAR. [ D f776. 6, 

the burden was on Washington, but there was no thought of turn- 
ing back. Anxious and troubled, he stood on the shore watching 
the boats as they were ferried across by Marblehead boatmen, the 
same who had brought the army over from Brooklyn on the 
eventful morning of August 30. 

It was gray twilight before the men and the guns were in line 
on the opposite bank. Then came nine miles march through the 
howling storm. Sullivan led his men by the river ; Washington 
conducted another column along the upper Pennington road. 
The former, finding that the arms of his men were wet, sent a 
messenger to Washington to report the fact. The orderly re- 
turned, dismayed by the sudden reply he had received, to "go 
back and tell his general to use the bayonet." They were near 
the town. It was broad daylight. But the storm had driven even 
the sentries inside. As Washington approached the village, he 
hailed a wood-chopper by the roadside, and asked, " Which way 
is the Hessian picket?" " I don't know," was the surly reply. An 
officer interposed, " You may tell ; this is General Washington." 
Dropping his axe, and raising his eyes to heaven, the patriot 
laborer exclaimed, " God bless and prosper you ! The picket is in 
that house, and yonder stands the sentry." The advance rushed 
forward. There was a shout, " Der feind ! der feind ! Heraus ! 
heraus !" (The enemy ! Turn out !) The tardy sentries sought 
to make a stand, but the rush swept them along. Just then there 
came the sharp rattle of Sullivan's guns from the lower town. 
The drums beat the alarm. The town was in an uproar. The 
Hessians, aroused, flew to arms, some firing from the windows, 
and some hastily forming their ranks. The British light horse 
and about five hundred Hessians and Chasseurs fled by the bridge 
across the Assanpink. 

Rail had received word the day before that he would be at- 
tacked that night, and about dusk a party had come swiftly out 
of the woods, and, firing upon one of his pickets, departed. He 
had ordered his men into their ranks, strengthened the outposts, 
and himself scoured the woods. Finding nothing, and thinking 
this all that there was to be, he had gone to a Christmas supper and 
spent the night in card-playing, drinking, and revelry. At early 
dawn a messenger came from a tory with a note bearing news of 
the crossing of the river by the American forces. The negro ser- 
vant, obeying his master's orders, refused him admittance. Know- 
ing the importance of the message, he prevailed on the servant to 



carry the note to the officer. Rail, on receiving it, excited by 
wine and the play, thrust it unopened into his pocket. But now 
came a different warning. The rattle of the guns was not to be 
mistaken. Only half sobered by the sudden surprise and the 
bitter cold, he attempted to rally his men. Captain Washington 
and Lieutenant Monroe rushed forward with a party and cap- 
tured the guns in front of his quarters, as the gunners stood with 
lighted matches in their hands ready to fire. Washington and 
Sullivan had now joined forces, and Forest's battery of six guns 
was opened upon the dismayed Hessians at only three hundred 
paces. Washington, himself, was in front directing every move- 
ment. Rail, however, extricated his men and drew them up in an 
orchard east of the village. By a quick movement, Hand's regi- 
ment of riflemen was thrown on his rear. Even now, with a des- 
perate resolve, he might have cut his way out ; but he could not 
think of fleeing from his despised foes, and the Hessians were loath 
to give up the booty they had collected in their quarters. The 
word was given to charge. In the midst Rail was struck by a ball 
and fell from his horse. His troops, quickly hemmed in by the ex- 
ulting Americans, surrendered. It was an hour of triumph. " The 
Lord of hosts," wrote the praeses of the Pennsylvania German 
Lutherans, " heard the cries of the distressed, and sent an angel 
for their deliverance." Washington, overwhelmed by supreme 
joy, clasped his hands and raised his eyes gleaming with thankful- 
ness to heaven. Nearly one thousand prisoners, twelve hundred 
small arms, six guns, and all the standards of the brigade, were 
the trophies of this victory. Had the other detachments carried 
out the part assigned to them, there would have been a complete 
capture at Trenton, while the various posts along the Delaware 
would have shared the same fate. 

Washington dared not stay in the quarters so hardly won, 
as the enemy, alarmed by the fugitives from the battle, would 
soon gather. Before leaving Trenton, however, accompanied 
by Greene, he visited Rail. Here the soldier was lost in the 
Christian, and the dying hours of the Hessian officer were 
soothed by the sympathy of his generous foe. " The remem- 
brance of the deed," says Lossing, " seems to play, like an electric 
spark, around the pen of the historian while recording it." Back 
through the same storm amid which it had come the little army 
now toiled, conveying its prisoners and spoils. Another night of 
peril and hardships in recrossing the river brought them again to 





their old camp, after an absence of forty hours. Stirling and half 
the men were disabled by the exposure. 

This daring stroke gave a new impulse to the cause of liberty. 
The prestige of invincibility which had hitherto preceded the 


Hessians was broken. Those who had grown lukewarm now 
became ardent again. Tories were depressed. The general 
whom all thought so slow was found to be bold and dashing 
when the proper opportunity arrived. Howe, alarmed, sent 
Cornwallis with reinforcements back into Jersey for a winter 
campaign. "All our hopes," said Lord George Germain, "were 
blasted by the unhappy affair at Trenton." News of the victory 
having reached Congress, the president attempted to announce 
the fact, but broke down, and could only call upon the secretary 
to read Washington's modest despatch. 

Meanwhile, Washington's hands had been strengthened by 
Congress. He was made virtually a dictator for six months, 
being authorized to remove any officer under brigadier-general, 
to fill any vacancy, to seize supplies for the use of the army, to 

Dec, "1 
1776. J 



arrest the disaffected, and to raise troops at his discretion. The 
regiments whose time expired the first of January were induced 
to remain by a bounty of ten dollars to each man. The military 
chest was empty, but Washington applied to Robert Morris, the 
rich patriot merchant of Philadelphia, who had just sent up to 
the commander-in-chief a small sum of " hard money," namely, 
four hundred and ten Spanish dollars, two crowns ten shillings 
and sixpence in English coin, and a French half-crown. The exi- 
gencies now required a large amount, and Morris was at a loss 
how to meet the sudden demand. The records of the time tell 
how, on New-Year's morning, he went from house to house, 
rousing the inmates from their beds, to borrow money. He had 
no success ; but at last, while walking home from his office 
anxiously considering the case, he met a wealthy Quaker, to 
whom he imparted the state of affairs. " Robert, what security 
canst thou give?" asked the Quaker. " My note and my honor," 
said Morris. " Robert, thou shalt have it," was the reply ; and 
the next morning the sum of fifty thousand dollars was on its way 
to Washington. 




IHE year dawned brightly for the 
new Republic. The term, " Great 
news from the Jerseys," now grew 
into a popular saying. Wide- 
spread was the panic among the 
British troops. December 25th, 
General Griffin, with some Penn- 
sylvania militia, finding he was 
too weak to join in the proposed 
attack, and wishing to do some- 
thing in the good cause, managed 
to decoy Donop and the Hessians 
off on a fruitless chase as far as 
Mount Holly. There he left them to find their way back as best 
they could. On the 27th, Cadwallader crossed the Delaware. 
He was accompanied by Colonel Reed, who had become a warm 
patriot again, and was ever after the friend and confidant of 
Washington. They found Burlington, Bordentown, and other 
posts deserted, the British having fled precipitately. All along 
the road the inhabitants were busy tearing down the red rags — 
tory signals — from their doors. 

Washington having given his men a brief rest, recrossed the 
Delaware and took post at Trenton. Here he managed to collect 
five thousand men, three-fifths of whom were merchants, mechan- 
ics, and farmers, who knew nothing of war, but, inspired with 
love of country, had left their warm firesides in the midst of 
winter to lie upon the ground without tent or shelter ; to march 
through snow and storm ; to encounter privation and danger, if 
only they could drive back the foe. 

Cornwallis was now pressing forward from Princeton with the 

J , a 7 n 7 ' 7 3 '] BATTLE OF PRINCETON. 1 97 

flower of the British army. His advance, annoyed by troops 
hidden in the woods who stubbornly disputed every inch of 
ground, was slow. At Trenton he found Washington's army 
drawn up behind the Assanpink, with the bridge, across which 
the cavalry escaped on the famous morning of December 26th, 
and all the neighboring houses and barns, strongly held. It was 
late. Sir William Erskine urged to storm the position that night, 
but Cornwallis replied that his troops were weary and he would 
" catch the fox in the morning." 

Washington's situation was perilous in the extreme. Before 
him was a powerful army, behind, an impassable river. To 
retreat was to give up Jersey to the enemy. If he stayed he could 
hardly hope for victory. He determined to sweep around the 
British left, by a circuitous route known as the Quaker road, to 
Princeton, where he presumed there were few troops remaining, 
and thence, perhaps, gain the English magazines at Brunswick. 
The army began to move at midnight. The roads, however, were 
muddy and the cannon could not be moved. Suddenly the wind 
veered, and within a few hours the ground everywhere became 
as hard as a pavement. To conceal the movement, men were set 
at throwing up earthworks near the bridge. The sentinels kept 
their posts until daybreak, heaping fuel on the blazing fires. 

About sunrise, having arrived near Princeton, Washington, 
with the main body, turned off by a nearer and side road to the 
college, while General Mercer, with his brigade, kept on along 
the Quaker road to the turnpike, where he was to break down the 
bridge over Stony Brook, and thus intercept any fugitives from 
Princeton and any reinforcements from Cornwallis at Trenton. 
Just then the British seventeenth regiment and the fifty-fifth 
regiment, Colonel Mawhood, had crossed the bridge en route for 
Trenton. Catching sight of the patriot guns gleaming in the 
sunrise, Mawhood hurried back with his regiment. Both par- 
ties rushed to secure an advantageous post on the high ground 
at the right, toward Princeton. The Americans, reaching it first, 
took position behind a fence, whence they opened fire upon the 
British. It was sharply returned. Mercer's horse fell under him. 
In the confusion Mawhood charged. The Americans, having no 
bayonets, broke. Mercer, while trying to rally them, was 
knocked down with the butt end of a musket, and, refusing to ask 
for quarter, but defending himself to the last, was repeatedly 
stabbed and left for dead, Just then Washington, hearing the 



TJan. 3, 
L 1777. 

guns, came to the rescue with the Pennsylvania militia, and, ral- 
lying the fugitives, led them to the charge. The raw troops 
wavered. Washington, dashing to the front within thirty paces 
of the enemy, reined in his horse just as both lines fired a volley. 
Fitzgerald, his devoted aide-de-camp, drew his cap over his eyes 
that he might not see the death of his beloved general. The 
smoke cleared away, and there still stood the commanding form 


of Washington, calm and imperturbable, as if 
on parade. " Thank God ! " exclaimed Fitz- 
gerald, " your excellency is saved ! " " Away, 
and bring up the troops ! The day is our 
own ! " cried the heroic commander, his eye 
ablaze with inspiration and resolve. Troops now coming up on 
every side, the British fell back, and it was only by their desperate 
valor and perfect discipline that they escaped over the fields and 
fences to -the Trenton road and across the brook. Washington, 
in the midst of the conflict, marked their superior control and 
exclaimed to his officers, " See how those noble fellows fight. 
Ah, gentlemen ! when shall we be able to keep an army long 
enough together to display a discipline equal to our enemies' ? " 

Meanwhile, the rest of the Americans had engaged the fifty- 
fifth and fortieth regiments, which had come up too late for the 
fight. Again, after a sharp contest, the British were defeated. 
A part fled to the Brunswick road, and the rest took refuge in 


the college. The artillery opened upon them. The first ball, it 
is said, passed through the portrait of George II., hanging in the 
room used for a chapel, neatly taking off the monarch's head. 
Captain Moore and his brave companions soon broke open the 
door, and the occupants were glad to surrender. The American 
loss had been trifling, except in officers, while that of the British 
was two hundred killed and wounded and two hundred and 
thirty prisoners. Washington, with his wearied men, did not 
dare to continue on to Brunswick, but turned toward Morris- 
town, where, among the rugged highlands, he would be safe from 

That morning's light had revealed to Cornwallis the smoulder- 
ing watch-fires and the deserted camp of the Americans. No one 
could tell him whither his enemy had gone. Even the tories, 
usually so watchful, were at fault. He heard the guns at Prince- 
ton through the keen, frosty air, but mistook it for thunder. 
Erskine, however, was not deceived. He exclaimed, " To arms, 
General ! Washington has outgeneraled us. Let us fly to the 
rescue at Princeton." Chagrined at his blunder, and alarmed for 
the safety of his magazines at Brunswick, Cornwallis roused his 
men and hastened back toward Princeton. As his advance-guard 
came in sight of Stony Brook, they saw a party which Washing- 
ton had sent back under Major Kelly to tear down the bridge. 
Opening fire, they drove off the men ; but the major kept on 
chopping desperately at the log which held up the timbers, till at 
last it suddenly gave way, and he fell into the stream. Hastily 
scrambling out, he started to run, but his wet clothes impeded his 
progress, and he was afterward captured. Cornwallis could not 
stop to repair the bridge, and so, ordering his men into the water, 
they forded the swollen brook, and in their " mail of frozen 
clothes " hastened on to Princeton. 

Suddenly they were brought to a stand by a shot fired from a 
neavy thirty-two pounder in an entrenchment at the entrance of 
the village. Supposing the patriots to be there in force, he sent 
out horsemen to reconnoitre, and prepared to storm the battery. 
The cavalry found the gun deserted. It had been fired by a 
straggler from Washington's rear-guard. 

The delay at the brook and the breastwork had given time for 
the patriots to escape. Cornwallis, dejected and disheartened, 
went on to Brunswick. A bolder general might have pursued 
the Americans, but the British, just then, were in no mood for any 


rash enterprise against a general whose strategy had proved so 
superior to all their discipline and numbers. 

Meanwhile the patriot army was toiling forward, the men so 
weary from lack of food and sleep that they often dropped down 
on the frozen ground, and, sinking into a lethargic slumber, were 
aroused only by the blows and shouts of their companions. That 
night, chilled and half-clothed, with no tents or blankets, they lay 
in the woods at Somerset Court-House, an easy prey, had the 
enemy been at hand. 

These exploits won for Washington universal applause. He 
was declared to be the saver of his country. Europe rang with 
praises of the New World's general. Frederick the Great of Prus- 
sia declared that his achievements were the most brilliant of any 
recorded on the pages of history. Before the sixty days mentioned 
in Howe's proclamation had expired, Washington issued a counter 
one, commanding that all who had signed the British pardon 
should, within thirty days, either withdraw to the English lines 
or take the oath of allegiance to the United States, on pain of 
being held as common enemies. The excesses of the British army 
had aroused the bitterest hatred. The day of deliverance seemed 
now to have come, and all classes were animated with the hope of 
" expelling these infamous robbers." Armed men sprang up as if 
from the ground. Foraging parties were everywhere cut off, and 
soon the British dared not venture outside their lines. The day 
Washington reached Morristown, one Oliver Spencer, with some 
New Jersey militia, routed an equal body of Hessians, taking 
thirty-nine prisoners. The same afternoon, Governor Clinton, 
coming down with a small force from Peekskill, captured Hack- 
ensack, the garrison making a speedy flight. General Maxwell 
took Elizabethtown and one hundred prisoners. General Dickin- 
son, with four hundred raw volunteers, forded the river near Som- 
erset Court-House, and attacked a foraging party, taking several 
prisoners, forty wagons, and one hundred English draught horses. 
Before the close of January the British held only Brunswick, Am- 
boy, and Paulus Hook. 

From the beginning of the war there had been hopes of obtain- 
ing aid from Europe. The French were especially well disposed 
to the Americans, partly because of hatred to England, and partly 
of a love for liberty which was gaining ground among the people 
of that country. In 1776, Silas Deane, of Connecticut, had been 
sent as commissioner to France. He accomplished little, however. 


He sent back only about fifteen thousand old muskets, and was 
strongly suspected of misappropriating the public funds. He 
was afterward followed by Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee. 
The former, already noted as a philosopher, in his quaint Quaker 
garb, calf-skin shoes tied with leather strings, and his plain, repub- 
lican manners, was a novelty in high French circles. His wit, his 
sturdy common sense, and his fascinating conversation, attracted 
universal admiration, and he instantly became the lion of the day. 
The fashionable world went crazy over the strange American, who 
was formally presented to the king in a plain Manchester velvet 
coat — the same which he had worn in England when he appeared 
before the Privy Council as agent for Massachusetts — white stock- 
ings, with spectacles on his nose, a white hat under his arm, and 
his thin gray hair quite innocent of powder. When he visited the 
theatre or opera, the brilliant audiences rose to receive and greet 
him with wild applause. Elegant fetes were given in his honor, 
and of three hundred lovely women, the most beautiful was chosen 
to crown his gray hairs with a wreath of laurel and salute his 
cheeks with a kiss. Franklin modestly accepted all these ex- 
travagant attentions as offered only through him to his beloved 

He soon secured a promise of secret assistance. Fifty-six 
thousand hogsheads of tobacco were to be furnished the agents 
of the French government, upon which an advance of a million 
francs was obtained. More than twenty thousand stands of arms 
and one thousand barrels of powder reached America during 
the ensuing campaign. Quite as valuable were the gallant volun- 
teers who espoused our cause and came across the ocean to help 
fight the battles of freedom. 

Marquis de Lafayette, at a banquet given in honor of the 
brother of the English king, first heard the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. The effect upon him was quite contrary to that intended. 
Won by its arguments, he from that time joined his hopes and 
sympathies to the American side. Yet, how was he to aid it? 
The French nobility, though heartily disliking England, did not 
endorse the action of her colonies. He was not yet twenty years 
of age ; he had just married a woman whom he tenderly loved ; 
his prospects at home for honor and happiness were bright. To 
join the patriot army would take him from his native land, his 
wife, and all his coveted ambitions, and would lead him into 
a struggle that seemed as hopeless as its cause was just. But 



TApnl 25 
L 1777. 

his zeal for America overcame all this. Other difficulties now 
arose. His family objected ; the British minister protested ; the 
French king withheld his permission. Still undaunted, he pur- 
chased a vessel, fitted it out at his own expense, and, escaping the 
officers sent to detain him, crossed the ocean. Arriving at Charles- 
ton, he hastened to Philadelphia, and, offering himself to Congress, 
asked permission to serve as a volunteer without pay. A few 
days after, his acquaintance with Washington began, which soon 
ripened into a tender and intimate friendship. 

Baron de Kalb accompanied Lafayette. He was a French 
officer of skill and experience, and received the appointment of 
major-general in the Continental army. He proved a valuable 
officer, and met a glorious death amid the rout at Camden. 



Kosciusko, a Pole of noble birth, was commended to Washing- 
ton by Franklin, and offered himself " to fight as a volunteer for 
American independence." " What can you do ?" asked the com- 
mander. " Try me," was Kosciusko's laconic reply. Washington 
was greatly pleased with him, and made him his aid. He became 
a colonel in the engineer corps, and superintended the construc- 
tion of the works at West Point. 

Count Pulaski, a Polish officer who had performed many 
daring exploits during the struggles of his native country for 
liberty, entered the service of the United States this year. 
" Pulaski's American Legion " afterward won great renown and 
did excellent service. 

The English government was now making every exertion to 
fill up the army for the ensuing campaign. The most reliance 


was placed upon the Hessians ; but the German princes met with 
great difficulty in supplying recruits. The cause was unpopular 
among the people, and desertions were numerous. Officers 
picked up men anywhere they could find them. Foreigners, vag- 
abonds, and loose fellows — even unprotected travelers were forced 
into the ranks. Troops had to be driven on shipboard at the 
point of the bayonet. The regiments of Anspach, for example, 
could not be trusted with arms or ammunition. When it came to 
embarking, the guard was unable to get them aboard, and the 
landgrave himself was sent for in all haste. He personally took 
the place of driver, and, by the power of his traditional authority, 
at last succeeded in forcing the reluctant and rebellious soldiers 
into the boats. Frederick of Prussia, we are told, was disgusted 
with this whole mercenary scheme. Metternich, as the repre- 
sentative of the Austrian court, reclaimed the subjects of that 
country. Thus the English army secured only about enough 
Hessians to make up the loss at Trenton. 

The most flattering proposals were made to induce the cap- 
tured American sailors to enlist in the British navy. The reply 
of one of them, Nathan Coffin, is worthy of immortality, " Hang 
me to the yard-arm of your ship if you will, but do not ask me to 
become a traitor to my country." 

Enlistments among the tories were encouraged. Tryon, who 
was a fitting tool, was put in charge of this detestable work. 
Commissions were issued freely. De Lancey of New York and 
Skinner of New Jersey were made brigadiers. It was a common 
boast of the loyalists that as many of the inhabitants of the States 
were taken into the pay of the crown as into that of Congress. 
This was doubtless an exaggeration, yet Sabine, in his " Loyalists 
of the American Revolution," estimates twenty-five thousand as a 
low figure for the total number who thus not only proved recreant 
to the cause of liberty, but took up arms against it in the service 
of the tyrant. 

The tomahawk and scalping-knife were also called in to aid 
the king in this emergency. The entire frontier, it was hoped, 
would resound with the war-whoop, as in the terrible days of 
Philip and Pontiac. The merciful provisions of Sir Guy Carle- 
ton, in command in Canada, for the employment of the Indians, 
were revoked. " The Ottawas, the Chippewas, the Wyandottes, 
the Shawnees, the Senecas, the Delawares, and the Pottawato- 
mies," wrote the secretary, Lord Germain, " are no longer to be 


restrained." The employment of such allies was severely de- 
nounced by the opposition in the British parliament. " If I were 
an American, as I am an Englishman," exclaimed Pit', in an 
eloquent speech on the subject, " while a foreign troop was landed 
in my country, I never would lay down my arms — never, never, 
never! " 

This year witnessed the first celebration of the signing of the 
Declaration of Independence. The Pennsylvania Journal of that 
date gives a glowing description of the festivities in Philadelphia. 
The firing of salutes, music from the Hessian band taken at Tren- 
ton, feux dejoie from a corps of British deserters, a congressional 
dinner with toasts for the living and the dead, and a military re- 
view, filled up the day. In the evening there were the ringing 
of bells and an exhibition of fireworks — the latter beginning and 
ending with the flight of thirteen rockets. " Thus," says the 
writer, " may the Fourth of July, that glorious and ever-memo- 
rable day, be celebrated through America by the sons of freedom 
from age to age, till time shall be no more. Amen and Amen! " 

George III., we are told, was interested in the minutest detail 
of the American war. The plan for the campaign of 1777, which 
was adopted in his closet, was for General Howe to take care of 
Washington and his army and seize Philadelphia ; General Bur- 
goyne was to move from Canada by the old French and Indian 
war route up Lake Champlain, while Clinton was to ascend the 
Hudson from New York ; thus all intercourse between New Eng- 
land and the other States would be cut off, and the navigation of 
the Hudson secured. Burgoyne left Canada with a force of, per- 
haps, ten thousand British and Indians. Near Crown Point he 
gave a grand feast to the chiefs of the Six Nations, after which 
four hundred of their warriors took the war-path with the British 
general. Here a grandiloquent proclamation was issued, declar- 
ing how difficult it would be to restrain his savage allies in case 
any resistance should be offered to the progress of the royal forces 
under his command. 

At evening on the 1st of July, he appeared before Fort Ticon- 
deroga. St. Clair, who was in command at that point, had 
written not long before : " Should the enemy attack us they will 
•go back faster than they came." On the 5th, the British dragged 
a battery of heavy guns up Mount Defiance, on the opposite side 
of the outlet, which commanded both Ticonderoga and Fort Inde- 
pendence, but was supposed to be inaccessible to artillery. St. 

July 6,"i 
1777. J 



Clair had no chance of defence. That night, with his garrison of 
three thousand men, he escaped in the darkness by land and water, 
taking only such stores as his boats could carry. The burning of 
his residence at Fort Independence by General De Fermoy, in vio- 
lation of express orders, revealed to the enemy what was trans- 
piring. General Fraser 
pushed on eagerly in pur- 
suit. Burgoyne, at day- 
break, took possession of 
the forts. It was the third 
time Fort Ticonderoga 
had been captured with- 
out bloodshed. 

At sunrise on the 7th, 
Fraser overtook the rear- 
guard of the Americans 
at Hubbardton while 
they were at breakfast. 
Fraser had only about 
eight hundred men ; while 
there were three regi- 
ments of • the Americans 
under Seth Warner, Fran- 
cis, and Hale. The last, with his men, retired in the direction of 
Castleton, and en route meeting a body of the British, surren- 
dered without resistance. Warner and Francis gallantly rallied 
the remainder, about seven hundred in number, and turning upon 
the British, seemed on the point of winning the day ; but Riede- 
sel, hearing the firing, came up with a body of Hessians, his 
music playing and his men singing a battle-hymn. The Ameri- 
cans were forced to give way. Francis, after having charged 
three times, was killed. Over one hundred fell and two hundred 
were taken prisoners. Those who escaped scattered through the 
woods. It was two days before Warner, with ninety men 
reached St. Clair. 

Meanwhile, Burgoyne sent a fleet up the lake. It overtook the 
American flotilla bearing the stores from Ticonderoga, just as, 
unsuspicious of danger, it moored in the harbor at Whitehall. 
The Americans blew up some of the galleys, abandoned the 
others with the bateaux, set fire to the buildings, and fled back 
to join General Schuyler at Fort Edward. A British regiment 



pursued them as far as Fort Ann. The garrison of that post, 
under Colonel Long, consisted of about five hundred convales- 
cents and invalids. He gallantly came out to meet the enemy, 
and took post in a ravine about a mile in front of his works. The 
British recoiled from his sharp fire and retreated to a neighboring 
hill. Following them up, he would have utterly defeated them if 
his ammunition had held out. As it was, he inflicted a loss of 
fifty men. When the English came back with reinforcements, it 
was only to find the fort burned to the ground and the garrison 

The fall of Ticonderoga and the defeat of the army, with the 
loss of two hundred pieces of artillery, fell upon the country like 
a thunderbolt from the clear sky. " We shall never be able to 
defend a fort," wrote John Adams, " till we shoot a general." 
A ridiculous story obtained credence that Burgoyne had paid 
Schuyler and St. Clair for their treachery, in silver bullets fired 
into the American camp. Possibilities of Schuyler's treachery 
and reports of his cowardice and incapacity were freely circu- 

The entire country between Whitehall and Fort Edward was 
a wilderness, traversed by a single military road leading through 
extensive woods and morasses and crossing many creeks. Bur- 
goyne, on his advance, found his path obstructed by fallen trees, 
broken-down bridges, and ruined causeways. Beyond this, 
Schuyler did nothing to prevent the British progress, and on the 
29th the cross of St. George was planted on the banks of the 
Hudson. During the march, the English army had built with 
infinite toil more than forty bridges and a log causeway over two 
miles long. This labor, under the hot sun of July, by men bur- 
dened with their equipments and annoyed by swarms of insects, 
had thoroughly exhausted their strength. There was no enemy, 
however, to dispute their way. Fort Edward could not be held, 
and the Americans retired, first to Saratoga, then to Stillwater, 
and finally to the islands in the Hudson at the mouth of the 
Mohawk. In spite of this timidity and lack of skill, Burgoyne's 
disastrous fate was fast unfolding itself. 

Before leaving Canada, he had sent Colonel St. Leger to 
ravage the Mohawk Valley, thus creating a diversion in his favor, 
and then to meet him at Albany. St. Leger had induced one 
thousand Indians to join his ranks as he marched southward from 
Oswego. With Brandt and his Mohawk Indians, Johnson and his, 

A , u # 7 ?'] BATTLE OF ORISKANY. 207 

tories, and Butler and his rangers, he laid siege to Fort Schuyler, 
late Fort Stanwix, now Rome. This was at that time the extreme 
western settlement of the State. It was a log fortification, built 
on rising ground, and held by two New York regiments under 
Gansevoort and Willett. 

General Herkimer, knowing that the fort was not provisioned 
or equipped for a siege, raised a body of militia from Tryon 
county, and set out for its relief. At Oriskany they fell into an 
ambuscade. While carelessly marching through the woods, 
"Johnson's Greens" attacked them in front and Brandt's Indians 
on both flanks. It was a true battle of the wilderness. The 
militia, royalists, and savages were soon so intermingled that 
there was no room to use fire-arms. The white man and Indian, 
wrestling in mortal conflict, striking with bayonet, hatchet, and 
hunting-knife, often fell in the shade of the forest, " their left hands 
clenched in each other's hair, their right grasping, in a grip of 
death, the knife plunged in each other's bosom." Herkimer was 
mortally wounded, but remained till the end giving orders and 
encouraging his companions. About four hundred of the Ameri- 
cans finally retreated to a knoll near by, where, from behind trees 
and logs, they held their ground until the Indians, suddenly 
shouting " Oonah ! Oonah ! " hastened back to save their camp. 

While this struggle was going on, Lieutenant-Colonel Willett, 
with a part of the garrison, had made a daring sally toward the 
scene of conflict. They drove all before them — rangers, tories, 
savages, and squaws. Hearing, however, of Herkimer's mis- 
fortune, they went back to the fort without losing a man, carry- 
ing with them kettles, furs, five flags, and a few prisoners. 

When the enemy first appeared, the garrison was without a 
flag, but with true American ingenuity, one had been straightway 
improvised. Shirts were cut up to form the white stripes, bits of 
scarlet cloth were sewed together to supply the red, and a blue 
cloth cloak served as a ground for the stars. Beneath this patch- 
work streamer they now proudly placed the colors they had won. 
" It was the first time," says Bancroft, " that a captured banner 
floated under the stars and stripes." 

It is interesting, in this connection, to notice the origin of our 
flag. In early times the English colonies naturally displayed the 
flag of the mother-country. We read that in 1636, however, 
Endicott, the governor of Massachusetts, cut out the cross of St. 
George as a " Romish symbol," and the king's arms were after. 


ward substituted for this emblem, so obnoxious to the Puritans. 
In 1 65 1, with the commonwealth came a revival of the old standard 
of St. George. At the opening of the Revolution the colonies 
used a great variety of flags. At Bunker Hill it is probable there 
was no American banner flying. Considering themselves still a 
part of the British empire, the patriots frequently fought under 
the " Union Jack." While Washington was in command at 
Cambridge he raised a flag, called the " Great Union," which 
consisted of thirteen red and white stripes, having at the corner 
the cross of the English flag. The Americans carried this banner 
when they entered Boston after its evacuation by General Howe ; 
when they fled through New Jersey before the conquering 
enemy ; and when they crossed the Delaware 'mid snow and ice, 
and charged at Trenton in the early dawn. The vessels of the 
infant navy bore a white flag with a green pine-tree in the corner. 
The United States were free a long time before they assumed a 
distinctive flag. June 17th of this year Congress voted that "the 
flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate 
red and white, and the union be thirteen white stars in the blue 
field." The latter were arranged in a circle. Paul Jones, who 
afterward became famous, was the first to hoist the new flag over 
an American ship-of-war, he having previously displayed it to a 
crowd assembled on the banks of the Schuylkill, while he sailed 
up and down in a small boat, with the patriotic banner proudly 

Finding that Fort Schuyler could not hold out much longer, 
Colonel Willett and a friend, Lieutenant Stockwell, determined to 
inform Schuyler of the situation. One dark, stormy night they 
crept from the entrenchments, passed through the camp, escaped 
sentinels and Indians, crossed the Mohawk on a log, and reached 
the American army in safety. 

Arnold, always ready for a desperate service, volunteered, 
with eight hundred men, to go to the relief. He accomplished 
his mission by a stratagem. A half-witted' boy, who had been 
taken prisoner, was promised his freedom if he would spread the 
report among St. Leger's troops that a large body of Americans 
was close at hand. Having cut holes in his clothes, he accord- 
ingly ran breathless into the camp of the besiegers, showing the 
bullet holes and describing his narrow escape from the enemy. 
When asked their number, he mysteriously pointed upward to 
the leaves on the trees. The Indians and British were so fright: 

Aug. 13, "I 
1777. J 



ened that, though Arnold was yet forty miles away, they fled in a 
panic, leaving their tents and artillery behind them. 

Such was the difficulty of getting supplies through the wilder 
ness from Lake George, that after two weeks hard labor Burgoyne 
had only secured four days provisions. Learning that the Amer- 


leans had collected a quantity of stores at Bennington, he sent 
Colonel Baum with about eight hundred Hessians, Canadians, and 
Indians to seize them, collect horses, recruit royalists, and thence 
rejoin the army at Albany. Fortunately, on the very day, August 
13th, that Baum set out, General Stark, who was in command of 
a brigade of New Hampshire militia, arrived at Bennington. He 
had just refused to join General Schuyler, on the ground that his 
troops were raised for the defence of the State, and he had been 
promised a separate command. This act of insubordination, which 
might have been fatal, now proved the salvation of the country. 
On receiving news of the approach of the British, Stark immedi- 
ately forwarded word to Colonel Warner to come to his aid with 
the Green Mountain Boys. Nearing Bennington, Baum discov- 
ered a reconnoitering party of Americans, and entrenching him- 
self on high ground in a bend of the Walloomscoick River, sent 
back to Burgoyne for reinforcements. The next day was so rainy, 
that all movements were prevented. 


During the night of the 15th a body of Berkshire militia ar- 
rived. Rev. Mr. Allen, of Pittsfield, and a large number of his 
church members were among them. This gentleman was burn- 
ing to display his patriotic zeal, and before daybreak, while the 
clouds were still pouring, he impatiently sought Stark. " Now, 
general," he said, " the Berkshire people have been called out 
several times before, without having a chance to fight, and if you 
do not give it to them this time, they will never turn out again." 
" Well," answered the general, with a secret satisfaction at the 
pluck of his troops, " do you wish to march now, while it is dark 
and raining ?" " No, not just this moment," was the reply. " Then 
just wait till the Lord gives us sunshine," returned Stark, " and if 
I do not give you fighting enough, I'll never ask you to come out 

The morning dawned clear, and both sides prepared for action. 
About noon, Stark developed his plan. Detachments were sent right 
and left to the rear of the enemy's main post on the heights. Baum, 
seeing men in their shirt-sleeves and with simple fowling-pieces 
collecting behind his camp, mistook them for country people, and 
thought nothing of it. Another detachment was then sent to Baum's 
right, while his attention was attracted by a feigned attack upon a 
tory entrenchment at the ford in front. At three o'clock the troops 
in the rear dashed up the hill. At the first volley Stark ordered a 
charge. As they reached the top they caught sight of the British 
lines forming for battle. " There are the red-coats," he shouted ; 
" we beat them to-day, or Betty Stark is a widow." On his men 
dashed, sweeping the tories before them. There was no flinching. 
With perfect confidence in their leader, though destitute of can- 
non, bayonets, and discipline, they closed in upon the Hessians on 
all sides. The sharp-shooters crept up within eight paces to pick 
off the cannoneers. The Germans fought with desperate valor, 
but their ammunition giving out, the militia scaled the works. 
Baum ordered his men to break out with bayonet and sword, but 
he was soon mortally wounded, and his men surrendered. The 
Indians had fled with horrible yells early in the day. 

Just as the battle was won, however, it seemed to be lost. The 
militia had dispersed to plunder the camp when Breyman came 
up with the reinforcements from Burgoyne. An hour earlier and 
they might have claimed the day. They now rallied the fugitives 
and pushed for Baum's entrenchments. At this moment Warner 
arrived with his regiment. Stark collected the militia, and again 

A ^77. 6 '] BATTLE OF BENNINGTON. 211 

the battle raged fiercely as ever. At sunset the Hessians ordered 
a retreat, leaving cannon and wounded. The exulting Americans 
followed them till night-fall. Darkness alone saved them from 
annihilation. The patriots lost only seventy all told, while the 
British loss was twice as great, besides about seven hundred 

An incident illustrates the spirit of the men that day. One old 
man had five sons in the patriot army. A neighbor, just from the 
field, told him that one had been unfortunate. " Has he proved 
a coward or a traitor ?" asked the father. "O no; he fought 
bravely," was the answer; "but he has fallen." "Ah," said the 
father, " then I am satisfied." 

The flight of St. Leger and the defeat at Bennington aroused 
the people from their depression, and inspired them with hope of 
success. The atrocities committed by the Indians also did much 
to inflame them with hatred of a government which let loose upon 
them such savage foes. None of their bloody acts caused more 
general execration than the murder of Jane McCrea. This young 
lady was the betrothed of a Captain Jones of the British army. 
She lived near Fort Edward in the family of her brother, who, 
being a whig, started for Albany on Burgoyne's approach. But 
she, hoping to meet her lover, lingered at the house of Mrs. 
McNeil, a staunch royalist, and a cousin of the British General 
Fraser. Early one morning the house was surprised by Indians, 
who dragged forth the inmates and hurried them away toward 
Burgoyne's camp. Mrs. McNeil arrived there in safety. A short 
time after, another party came in with fresh scalps, among which 
she recognized the long, glossy hair of her friend. The savages, 
on being charged with her murder, declared that she had been 
killed by a chance shot from a pursuing party, whereupon they 
had scalped her to secure the bounty. The precise truth has 
never been known. This massacre was probably no more hor- 
rible than many others. But it was susceptible of embellishment, 
and everywhere produced a deep impression. Many patriots 
were led to join the army, and many royalists to desert a cause 
which permitted such atrocities. 

The New England troops were unwilling to serve under 
Schuyler, who seemed to have little confidence in them, and the 
militia consequently came in but slowly. Gates, who was am- 
bitious of a separate command, and who had been superseded 
by Schuyler in the charge of this department, was constantly 



[" Aug. -Sept., 
L 1777. 

intriguing to oust his rival. Congress lacked faith in Schuyler's 
Abilities, and, after the fall of Ticonderoga, even proposed to 
change all the higher officers of the northern army. Washington 
was desired to nominate a successor to Schuyler, but declined. 
With noble self-sacrifice, though he was himself confronted by a 
far larger army than was Schuyler, he sent him two brigades of 
iiis best troops, and ordered thither Morgan with his incompara- 
ble riflemen ; Lincoln, who was popular with the eastern militia ; 
and Arnold, famous for his desperate daring. He also wrote 
personally to the governors of the New England States, urging 
them to rally in this emergency. Soon the yeomanry began to 
pour into camp, all eager, even anxious, for a battle. Such was 
the dissatisfaction with Schuyler, that 
Gates was now appointed to take his *J^2£?L 
place. However much the former may 
have lacked the abilities of a great gen- 
eral, he proved 


a true patriot. No spirit of jealousy at the success of his rival 
actuated him. He magnanimously threw all his influence in favoi 
of Gates, made known to him his plans and efficiently aided in 
their execution. His great heart had no more room for envy than 
for selfishness. During the retreat he had given orders to Mrs. 
Schuyler to set fire to his fields of grain at Saratoga, to prevent 
the possibility of their falling into the enemy's hands. 

Burgoyne's position was every day becoming more embarrass- 
ing. The Canadians and tories were discouraged. The Indians, 


indignant at the humane efforts Burgoyne had made to restrain 
their ferocity, were rapidly deserting. His misfortunes weighed 
like an incubus on the morale of the whole army. His instruc- 
tions, however, were positive. He expected Clinton had already 
ascended the Hudson to co-operate with him, and so, against the 
judgment of his best officers, determined to proceed. Provisions 
for about thirty days had been painfully gathered, and with his 
army of six thousand men, all veterans, splendidly equipped, and 
with a fine artillery, he promised yet to " eat his Christmas dinner 
in Albany." 

Meanwhile, the American army, at least ten thousand strong, 
well armed, burning with patriotism and eager for the fray, had 
advanced to Bemis's Heights, near Stillwater. Gates was unskil- 
ful, and perhaps cowardly, while Schuyler's friends were indig- 
nant at his displacement ; but Arnold, Morgan, Poor, Learned, 
Fellows, Dearborn, Ciliey, Cook, Scammel, Glover, and others 
were there, and no one in the patriot ranks had a doubt. Bur- 
goyne crossed the Hudson on the 13th and 14th, and encamped 
at Saratoga; but, delayed by bad roads and broken bridges, in 
four days he did not progress as many miles. It was not until the 
1 8th that he reached Wilbur's Basin, two miles from Bemis's 
Heights, and proposed to attack the Americans. Their position 
was a very strong one, and, under Kosciusko's direction, had 
been carefully fortified. The line of entrenchments was circular 
in form, with the right resting on the river and the left on a ridge 
of hills. About ten o'clock the next forenoon the British army 
advanced in three columns. The left wing, with the artillery 
under Phillips and Riedesel, was to move along the flat by the 
river ; Burgoyne himself commanded the centre ; and Fraser led 
the right by a circuit upon the ridge to attack the American left 
wing. Upon the front and flanks of the columns hung tories, 
Canadians, and Indians. Gates desired to await an attack. At 
the urgent solicitation of Arnold, however, he finally sent out 
Morgan with his riflemen and Major Dearborn with the infantry. 
The former passed unobserved through the wood, but driving 
back a party of Canadians and Indians too vigorously, he unex- 
pectedly came upon the main body of the English. His men 
were scattered, and for a moment he was left almost alone. A 
shrill whistle soon brought his sharp-shooters around him. Ciliey 
and Scammel coming to his aid with the New Hampshire regi- 
ments, a sharp contest ensued. The battle now lulled, Phillips 


bringing up artillery on one side and Cook the Connecticut 
militia on the other. 

At three o'clock the struggle began again, not far from the 
same point. Gates had no plan ; there was consequently no 
manoeuvring. Both sides were on gentle eminences, partly shel- 
tered by wood, and out of gun-shot of each other ; between them 
was an open field. The British advanced to clear the wood of the 
Americans ; they sallied forth and drove the English from their 
guns, who, in turn, rallied. Thus the tide of battle ebbed to and 
fro. The cannon were taken and retaken several times. Too late 
to accomplish anything, Learned with a brigade went around to 
attack the British in the rear; but Riedesel with some Hessians 
climbed the hill and fell upon the American flank. Darkness now 
coming on, the patriots quietly drew back to their entrenchments. 
Twice during the evening, however, there were sharp skirmishes, 
and the last American did not leave the field until eleven o'clock. 
The English lay on their arms near by, and technically claimed 
the victory, though they had not gained their end, which was to 
dislodge the Americans from their position ; while the latter had 
gained theirs by preventing the British from advancing. Each 
side, however, took to itself the honor, and supposed that with a 
part of its forces it had beaten the whole of the hostile band. In 
fact, only about three thousand of either army were engaged. The 
American loss was not far from four hundred, and the English five 
hundred. The fire of the American riflemen was excessively 
annoying. They climbed the trees and picked off the English 
officers. A bullet designed for Burgoyne struck the arm of an 
aid who was just handing him a letter. In one battery three- 
fourths of the artillerymen were killed or wounded, and every 
officer save one was struck. 

The next morning Arnold urged that the work should be 
followed up, and Burgoyne's shattered forces be attacked at once 
before they had time to prepare entrenchments or to recover 
from their exhaustion. Gates resented the interference. A 
quarrel ensued, and Arnold demanded a pass to go to General 
Washington, which was granted. Seeing how discreditable it 
would be to leave just before a battle, Arnold finally remained in 
his tent, but without any troops, as the command of the right 
wing was given to Lincoln. 

For over two weeks both armies lay in their camps, which 
were only a cannon-shot apart, carefully fortifying themselves and 


watching an opportunity to catch each other at a disadvantage. 
Burgoyne's position was now perilous in the extreme. He had 
six or eight hundred sick and wounded in hospital ; his horses 
were weakened by work and want ; and he was forced to cut off 
one-third of the daily rations of his men. Patriot bands swarmed 
everywhere, breaking down bridges and harassing the pickets 
and foraging parties. Neither officer nor soldier dared to remove 
his clothes at any time, and the camp was in almost constant 
alarm. One night twenty young farmers, residing near by, 
resolved to capture the enemy's advance picket-guard. Armed 
with fowling-pieces, they marched silently through the woods 
until they were within a few yards of the station. They then 
rushed out from the bushes, the captain blowing an old horse- 
trumpet and the men yelling. There was no time for the senti- 
nel's hail. " Ground your arms, or you are all dead men ! " 
cried the patriot captain. Thinking that a large force had fallen 
upon them, the picket obeyed. The young farmers, with all the 
parade of regulars, led back to the American camp over thirty 
British soldiers. 

Burgoyne was in constant hope of being relieved by the 
promised expedition of Clinton up the Hudson River, as in that 
event Gates would necessarily send a part of his army to the 
defence of Albany. On the 21st Burgoyne received a letter in 
cipher from Clinton, stating that he was about to start. Greatly 
encouraged thereby, he replied that he could hold on till Novem- 
ber 1 2th. Every day, however, the net of his difficulties was drawn 
about him more and more tightly. The time came when he must 
either fight or fly. On the 7th of October he attempted a recon- 
noissance in force, in order to cover a large foraging party, and 
also, if opportunity offered, to turn the left of the American line. 
For this service fifteen hundred picked men were selected. Bur- 
goyne led them in person, and under him were Fraser, Riedesel, 
and Phillips. Marching out of camp, they formed in double ranks 
on a low ridge, less than a mile northwest of the American camp, 
and awaited events. Meanwhile the foragers were busy getting 
supplies, and the officers were scanning the patriot lines. 

Morgan with his riflemen, Poor's New Hampshire brigade, 
and Dearborn's light infantry were thereupon ordered to attack 
simultaneously the enemy's right and left flanks. Steadily the 
New Hampshire men mounted up the slope, received one volley, 
and then with a shout dashed forward to the very mouth of the 


cannon. So fierce was the contest that one piece was taken and 
retaken several times. Colonel Cilley leaped upon it, waved his 
sword, " dedicating the gun to the American cause," and then, 
with their own ammunition, opened it upon the enemy. It was 
the very inspiration of courage. Major Ackland was severely 
wounded. The British lines broke. Meanwhile, Morgan had 
driven back Fraser, who was covering the English right, and 
fallen on that flank so impetuously that it was already in retreat. 
Arnold, who was chafing in camp and anxious " to right himself," 
as he said, " with the sword," sprang to his saddle and rushed 
into the fray. " He will do some rash thing," shouted Gates, and 
ordered his aid, Major Armstrong, to call him back; but Arnold, 
suspecting the message, put spurs to his beautiful brown horse, 
named Warren after the hero of Bunker Hill, and was soon out 
of reach. He had no right to fight, much less to lead, but his 
rank and valor gave him authority at once. Dashing to the head 
of a part of Learned's brigade, where he was received with 
cheers by his old command, he ordered a charge on the centre of 
the British line. Leading the onset, delivering his orders in 
person where the bullets flew thickest, he galloped to and fro 
over the field as if possessed by the very demon of battle. In 
his rage he struck an American officer on the head with his sword 
without being conscious of the fact, as he afterward declared. 
His headlong valor inspired the troops with desperate courage. 
At the second charge the English gave way. 

Fraser was busy forming another line in the rear. Brave to a 
fault and chivalric in his sense of duty, this gallant officer was the 
mind and soul of the British army. Morgan saw that he alone 
stood between the Americans and victory. Calling to him some 
of his best men, he said, " That gallant officer is General Fraser. 
I admire and honor him ; but he must die. Stand among those 
bushes and do your duty." Mounted on an iron-gray charger 
and dressed in full uniform, Fraser was a conspicuous mark. A 
bullet cut the crupper of his horse and another his mane. " You 
are singled out, general," said his aide-de-camp ; " had you not 
better shift your ground?" " My duty forbids me to fly from 
danger," was the reply. A moment after he fell mortally 

Just then the New York men under Ten Broeck, coming on 
the field, swept all before them. Burgoyne sought to stay the 
tide ; a bullet went through his hat and another tore his vest. 

Oct. 7,1 
1777. J 



The Americans urged the pursuit up to the very entrenchments. 
Arnold, maddened by the fight, stormed the camp of the light 
infantry under Earl Balcarras, the strongest part of the English 
line. For an hour the useless struggle continued. Repulsed, he 
rode to the American left, all the way exposed to the cross-fire of 
both armies, and ordered a general assault on the British right. 


A stockade was carried, and Breyman with his Germans was cut 
off from the main body of the British army. As Arnold dashed 
mto a sally-port, the Hessians fired a parting volley, wounding 
him in the same leg as at Quebec. At that moment Armstrong 
came up with Gates's order. He was borne from the field, but 
he had already gained a victory while his commander stayed in 
his tent. Breyman being mortally v ounded, his men lost heart 
and over two hundred surrendered. This position was the key 
to the British line. Burgoyne tried to rally his men to retake it ; 
but darkness closed the hard-fought contest. The Americans lay 
on their arms ready to renew the struggle in the morning. 

During the night, Burgoyne evacuated a part of his entrench- 
ments, and gathered his army upon the heights around the hos- 
pital, with the river in the rear and a deep ravine in front. His 
new position was so strong that Gates did not deem it best to 
hazard an attack. Fraser, in his dying moments, requested that he 
might be buried at six in the evening on the top of a little knoll in 


the great redoubt. Just at sunset his body was borne thither ac- 
companied by Burgoyne, Phillips, and Riedesel. The American 
cannoneers were attracted by the presence of the officers, and, 
ignorant of the sad ceremony which was being enacted, their balls 
fell thick about the chaplain as he read the solemn burial service. 
So Fraser was entombed, as he had died, amid the roar of artillery. 

Burgoyne now renewed the retreat. The rain fell in torrents, 
and the roads were so badly cut up that he did not reach Sara- 
toga, a distance of six miles, until the next night. The men, too 
much exhausted to procure wood or build fires, lay down on the 
ground and slept in the fast-falling rain. On the ioth they crossed 
the Fishkill and made their last encampment. The fine house and 
mills of General Schuyler at the ford were burned by order of 
General Burgoyne. The British were now hemmed in on all 
sides. The end was near. 

Just at this time occurred a circumstance which illustrates the 
small events on which depend the fortunes of war. Gates received 
word that Burgoyne had sent on the bulk of his army toward the 
north. He determined at once to cut off the rear-guard still left 
in camp. The British general in some manner became advised of 
the plan, and put his best troops in ambush, where he could fire 
upon the Americans at the very moment of victory. All appar- 
ently went well. A patriot brigade had crossed the creek and 
another was just entering, a dense fog concealing the movement. 
Just then a British deserter came in and revealed the plot. Mes- 
sengers were hurried out and the troops ordered back, but not 
without some loss. A few minutes more, and the success of the 
whole campaign would have been imperiled. 

A reconnoitering party sent on to Fort Edward reported that 
the crossing was held by General Stark. The opposite bank of 
the Hudson was lined with the Americans. Bateaux containing 
part of their scanty stock of provisions had been seized, the rest 
being saved only by bringing them up the steep bank under a 
heavy cannonade. No word was received from General Clinton. 
Every part of the camp was searched out by the American fire. 
Water was scarce, and no one dared to get it, until a woman 
volunteered, when the sharpshooters, respecting her sex, let her 
pass unharmed. While a council of war held in Burgoyne's tent 
was considering the necessity of a surrender, several grape-shot 
struck near, and an eighteen-pound cannon-ball passed over the 
table around which the officers sat. Under these circumstances 

Oct. 17,-1 
1777. J 



a decision was quickly made. They resolved to treat for capitu- 
lation. At first Gates demanded an unconditional surrender ; but 
knowing that Clinton had captured the torts in the Highlands 
commanding the passage of the Hudson, he consented that the 
British should be taken to Boston and be 
allowed to return to England, on condi- 
tion of not serving in the war again until 
exchanged. When Burgoyne heard from 
a deserter of Clinton's progress, he hesi- 
tated to sign the conditions ; but Gates 
drew up his army and threatened to open 
fire. Whereupon Burgoyne yielded. 

A detachment of Americans marched 
into the British camp to the lively air of 
Yankee Doodle, while the English army 
gravely filed out and laid down their 
arms. With a delicate consideration, the 
Continental forces were withdrawn from 
sight, and the only American officer pres- 
ent was Major Wilkinson, who had charge 
of the arrangements. The total number 
surrendered was five thousand seven hun- 
dred and ninety-one, besides one thousand 
eight hundred and fifty -six prisoners of 
war, including sick and wounded. Forty- 
two brass cannon and forty -six hundred 
muskets, with abundant munitions of war, 
were among the trophies. After this cere- 
mony was over, Generals Burgoyne and 
Gates advanced to meet each other at the 
head of their staffs. The former was 
dressed in a magnificent uniform of scarlet 
and gold, and the latter in a plain blue 
frock-coat. It was a marked contrast be- 
tween vanquished and victor. When they 
had approached nearly within a sword's 
length, they halted, and Burgoyne, with a graceful obeisance, said, 
" The fortune of war, General Gates, has made me your prisoner." 
General Gates, returning the salute, replied, " I shall always be 
ready to testify that it has not been through any fault of your 



As they met after these formalities, Gates used the common ex- 
pression, " I am very Jiappy to see you." " I believe you are," replied 
Burgoyne. Gates, pretending not to hear the retort, invited him 
to his marquee, where they partook of a sumptuous dinner. In the 
afternoon, the English troops were marched between the double 
lines of the Americans, and, in presence of both armies, Burgoyne 
handed his sword to Gates, who promptly returned it. The 
tragedy was finished. The northern invasion had proved an in- 
glorious failure. The prisoners were forwarded to Boston, but 
the British government failing to ratify the agreement, and fears 
arising that the men, if given up, would be at once turned into 
the British army, Congress ordered them to be sent into the 
interior of Virginia. The action caused much excitement and 
was fruitful of mutual recriminations between the two countries. 
Late in the fall, the " convention troops," as they were called, 
were marched seven hundred miles across the country to Char- 
lottesville, Virginia. Here comfortable barracks were built the 
next summer ; an extensive territory was cleared, and gardens 
were laid out and beautifully cultivated by them. At the close 
of the war many of the prisoners remained among their fellow- 
Germans and became useful citizens. 

The picture of this celebrated invasion would be incomplete 
without referring to the pathetic account left by Madame Riede- 
sel, who followed her husband throughout the disastrous cam- 
paign. This lady had a large calash made for her use, capable of 
holding herself, three children, and two female servants, in which 
they accompanied the army on their march. After they encamped, 
a small square building, with a capacious chimney, was erected 
for her comfort. She goes on to relate : " On the 7th of October 
our misfortunes began. I was at breakfast with my husband, and 
heard that something was intended. On the same day I expected 
Generals Burgoyne, Phillips, and Fraser to dine with us. I saw 
a great movement among the troops ; my husband told me it was 
merely a reconnoissance, which gave me no concern, as it often 
happened. I walked out of the house, and met several Indians 
in their war-dresses, with guns in their hands. When I asked 
them where they were going, they cried out, ' War ! war ! ' mean- 
ing that they were going to battle. This filled me with appre- 
hension, and I had scarcely got home before I heard reports of 
cannon and musketry, which grew louder by degrees, till at last 
the noise became excessive. 


"About four o'clock in the afternoon, instead of the guests 
whom I expected, General Fraser was brought on a litter, mor- 
tally wounded. The table, which was already set, was instantly 
removed, and a bed placed in its stead for the wounded general. 
I sat trembling in a corner; the noise grew louder, and the alarm 
increased ; the thought that my husband might perhaps be brought 
in, wounded in the same manner, was terrible to me, and dis- 
tressed me exceedingly. General Fraser said to the surgeon, 
' Tell me if my wound is mortal ; do not flatter me.' The ball 
had passed through his body, and, unhappily for the general, he 
had eaten a very hearty breakfast, by which the stomach was dis- 
tended, and the ball, as the surgeon said, had passed through it. 
I heard him often exclaim with a sigh, ' Oh ! fatal ambition ! Poor 
General Burgoyne ! Oh ! my poor wife ! ' He was asked if he 
had any request to make, to which he replied that, ' If General 
Burgoyne would permit it, he should like to be buried at six 
o'clock in the evening, on the top of a mountain, in a redoubt 
which had been built there.' 

" I did not know which way to turn ; all the other rooms were 
full of sick. Toward evening I saw my husband coming ; then I 
forgot all my sorrows, and thanked God that he was spared to 
me. He ate in great haste, with me and his aide-de-camp, behind 
the house. We had been told that we had the advantage over the 
enemy, but the sorrowful faces I beheld told a different tale ; and 
before my husband went away he took me aside, and said every- 
thing was going very badly, and that I must keep myself in 
readiness to leave the place, but not to mention it to any one. I 
made the pretence that I would move the next morning into my 
new house, and had everything packed up ready. 

" I could not go to sleep, as I had General Fraser and all the 
other wounded gentlemen in my room, and I was sadly afraid my 
children would wake, and by their crying disturb the dying man 
in his last moments, who often addressed me and apologized ' for 
the trouble he gave me.' About three o'clock in the morning I 
was told that he could not hold out much longer ; I had desired 
to be informed of the near approach of this sad crisis, and I then 
wrapped up my children in their clothes, and went with them 
into the room below. About eight o'clock in the morning he 

" After he was laid out, and his corpse wrapped up in a sheet, 
we came again into the room, and had this sorrowful sight before 


us the whole day ; and, to add to the melancholy scene, almost 
every moment some officer of my acquaintance was brought in 
wounded. The cannonade commenced again ; a retreat was 
spoken of, but not the smallest motion was made toward it. 
About four o'clock in the afternoon I saw the house which had 
just been built for me in flames, and the enemy was now not far 
off. We knew that General Burgoyne would not refuse the last 
request of General Fraser, though, by his acceding to it, an 
unnecessary delay was occasioned, by which the inconvenience 
of the army was increased." 

As soon as the funeral service was finished and the grave of 
General Fraser closed, an order was issued that the army should 
fall back. 

" The retreat was ordered to be conducted with the greatest 
silence ; many fires were lighted, and several tents left standing ; 
we traveled continually during the night. At six o'clock in the 
morning we halted, which excited the surprise of all ; General 
Burgoyne had the cannon ranged and counted ; this delay seemed 
to displease everybody, for if we could only have made another 
good march, we should have been in safety. My husband, quite 
exhausted with fatigue, came into my calash, and slept for three 
hours. During that time Captain Wiloe brought me a bag full of 
bank-notes and Captain Grismar his elegant watch, a ring, and a 
purse full of money, which they requested me to take care of, and 
which I promised to do to the utmost of my power. We again 
marched, but had scarcely proceeded an hour before we halted, 
as the enemy was in sight ; it proved to be only a reconnoitering 
party of two hundred men, who might easily have been made 
prisoners if General Burgoyne had given proper orders on the 

" About evening we arrived at Saratoga ; my dress was wet 
through and through with rain, and in this state I had to remain 
the whole night, having no place to change it ; I, however, got 
close to a large fire, and at last lay down on some straw. At this 
moment General Phillips came up to me, and I asked him why 
he had not continued our retreat, as my husband had promised to 
cover it and bring the army through. ' Poor, dear woman,' said 
he, ' I wonder how, drenched as you are, you have the courage 
still to persevere and venture further in this kind of weather ; I 
wish,' continued he, ' you were our commanding general ; Gene- 
ral Burgoyne is tired, and means to halt here to-night and give us 
our supper.' 



" On the morning of the 10th, at ten o'clock, General Burgoyne 
ordered the retreat to be continued. The greatest misery at this 
time prevailed in the army, and more than thirty officers came to 
me, for whom tea and coffee were prepared, and with whom I 
shared all my provisions, with which my calash was in general well 
supplied ; for I had a cook who was an excellent caterer, and who 
often in the night crossed small rivers and foraged on the inhabi- 
tants, bringing in with him sheep, small pigs, and poultry, for 
which he very often forgot to pay. 

" About two o'clock in the afternoon we again heard a firing 
of cannon and small arms ; instantly all was alarm, and everything 
in motion. My husband told me to go to a house not far off. I 
immediately seated myself in my calash with my children and 
drove off; but scarcely had I reached it before I discovered five 
or six armed men on the other side of the Hudson. Instinctively 
I threw my children down in the calash, and then concealed my- 
self with them. At this moment the fellows fired, and wounded 
an already wounded English soldier who was behind me. Poor 
fellow ! I pitied him exceedingly, but at this moment had no 
means or power to relieve him. 

" A terrible cannonade was commenced by the enemy against 
the house in which I sought to obtain shelter for myself and 
children, under the mistaken idea that all the generals were in it. 
Alas ! it contained none but wounded and women. We were at 
last obliged to resort to the cellar for refuge, and in one corner of 
this I remained the whole day, my children sleeping on the earth 
with their heads in my lap ; and in the same situation I passed a 
sleepless night. Eleven cannon-balls passed through the house, 
and we could distinctly hear them roll away. One poor soldier, 
who was lying on a table for the purpose of having his leg ampu- 
tated, was struck by a shot, which carried away his other ; his 
comrades had left him, and when we went to his assistance, we 
found him in the corner of a room, into which he had crept, more 
dead than alive, scarcely breathing. My reflections on the dan- 
ger to which my husband was exposed now agonized me exceed- 
ingly, and the thoughts of my children and the necessity of 
struggling for their preservation alone sustained me. 

" I now occupied myself through the day in attending the 
wounded ; I made them tea and coffee, and often shared my din- 
ner with them, for which they offered me a thousand expressions 
of gratitude. One day a Canadian officer came to our cellar, who 





had scarcely the power of holding himself upright, and we con- 
cluded he was dying for want of nourishment ; I was happy in 
offering him my dinner, which strengthened him and procured 
me his friendship. I now undertook the care of Major Bloom- 
field, another aide-de-camp of General Phillips ; he had received 
a musket-ball through both cheeks, which in its course had 
knocked out several of his teeth and cut his tongue ; he could 
hold nothing in his mouth, the matter which ran from his wound 

almost choked him, and 
he was not able to take 
any nourishment ex- 
cept a little soup, or 
something liquid. We 
had some Rhenish 
wine, and in the hope 
that the acidity of it 
would cleanse his 
wound, I gave him a 
bottle of it. He took 
a little now and then, 
and with such effect 
that his cure soon fol- 
lowed ; thus I added 
another to my stock of 
friends, and derived a 
satisfaction which, in 
the midst of sufferings, 
served to tranquillize 
me and diminish their 

" One day General 
Phillips accompanied 
my husband, at the risk of their lives, on a visit to us. The 
general, after having witnessed our situation, said to him, ' I 
would not for ten thousand guineas come again to this place; 
my heart is almost broken.' 

" In this horrid situation we remained six days ; a cessation of 
hostilities was now spoken of, and eventually took place. On the 
16th, however, my husband had to repair to his post and I to my 
cellar. This day fresh beef was served out to the officers, who 
till now had only had salt provisions, which was very bad for 
their wounds. 


Oct. 17, 1 
1777. J 



" On the 17th of October the convention was completed. 
General Burgoyne and the other generals waited on the American 
General Gates ; the troops laid down their arms, and gave them- 
selves up prisoners of war ! 

" My husband sent a message to me to come over to him with 
my children. I seated myself once more in my dear calash, and 
then rode through the American camp. As I passed on, I ob- 
served — and this was a great consolation to me — that no one eyed 
me with looks of re- 
sentment, but that they 
all greeted us, and even 
showed compassion in 
their countenances at 
the sight of a woman 
with small children. I 
was, I confess, afraid to 
go over to the enemy, 
as it was quite a new 
situation to me. When 
I drew near the tents, 
a handsome man ap- 
proached and met me, 
took my children from 
the calash, and hugged 
and kissed them, which 
affected me almost to 
tears. ' You tremble,' 
said he, addressing 
himself to me ; ' be not 
afraid.' ' No,' I an- 
swered, ' you seem so 
kind and tender to my 

children, it inspires me with courage.' He now led me to 
tent of General Gates, where I found Generals Burgoyne and 
Phillips, who were on a friendly footing with the former. Bur- 
goyne said to me, ' Never mind ; your sorrows have now an end.' 
I answered him, ' that I should be reprehensible to have any 
cares, as he had none ; and I was pleased to see him on such 
friendly footing with General Gates.' All the generals remained 
to dine with General Gates. 

" The same gentleman who received me so kindly now came 





and said to me, ' You will be very much embarrassed to eat with 
all these gentlemen ; come with your children to my tent, where 
I will prepare for you a frugal dinner, and give it with a free 
will.' I said, \ You are certainly a husband and a father, you 
have shown me so much kindness.' I now found that he was 
General Schuyler. He treated me with excellent smoked tongue, 
beefsteaks, potatoes, and good bread and butter ! Never could I 
nave wished to eat a better dinner ; I was content ; I saw all 
around me were so likewise ; and, what was better than all, my 
husband was out of danger. 

"After dinner General Schuyler begged me to pay him a visit 
at his house in Albany, where he expected also to receive General 
Burgoyne. Having sent to my husband for advice, he counselled 
me to accept the invitation." 

She was delighted with her reception at General Schuyler's 
hospitable mansion, and records that Mrs. Schuyler and her 
daughters " loaded us with kindness, and behaved in the same 
manner toward General Burgoyne, though he had wantonly 
caused their splendid country establishment to be burned." 
General Schuyler's gentlemanly courtesy was characteristically 
shown in his first meeting with Burgoyne after the surrender. 
The latter, remembering his unnecessary destruction of the 
former's property, attempted an excuse. " That was the fate of 
war," replied General Schuyler ; " I beg you, say no more about 
it." Burgoyne, in a speech before the House of Commons, adds: 
" He did more : he sent an aide-de-camp to conduct me to 
Albany, in order, as he expressed it, to procure better quarters 
than a stranger might be able to find. That gentleman conducted 
me to a very elegant house, and, to my great surprise, presented 
me to Mrs. Schuyler and family. In that house I remained dur- 
ing my whole stay in Albany, with a table of more than twenty 
covers for me and my friends, and every other demonstration of 

We turn now from the brilliant exploits at Saratoga to a sad 
and sober record, relieved only by episodes of heroism, sacrifice, 
and devotion. Washington, at the opening of the campaign, had 
not over seven or eight thousand men, while General Howe 
moved out of New York with more than double that number, all 
veterans and eager for battle. The last of May, Washington 
removed from his winter quarters at Morristown to a strong posi- 
tion behind the Raritan at Middlebrook, in order to more care- 

July23 |7°77. Ug ' 25 '] THE CAMPAIGN IN PENNSYLVANIA. 227 

fully watch General Howe, then at New Brunswick. It was yet 
uncertain where he would strike, though he evidently aimed at 
Philadelphia. In June he tried to cut off Sullivan at Princeton, 
but failing in that, manoeuvred to force Washington to a general 
engagement. The American Fabius was too wary, and so Howe 
turned back to Staten Island. The 5th of July he began to 
embark the army on his brother's fleet. Slow and pleasure-lov- 
ing as ever, he kept the troops on shipboard in the sultry sun till 
the 23d, when he put out to sea. There was great doubt where 
the bolt would fall. Now there were rumors that he would enter 
the Delaware ; now that he had returned and ascended the Hud- 
son ; and then that he had sailed for Charleston. Meantime, the 
army was moved to Germantown to await events. At last the 
news that the British were actually in the Chesapeake dispelled 
all doubt. 

The army was immediately set in motion. In order to over- 
awe the disaffected, the troops were marched through Philadel- 
phia, down Front and up Chestnut streets. The soldiers looked 
their best and the fifes and drums played merrily, but they could 
not hide their indifferent equipments and the fact that the finest 
uniform was a brown linen hunting-shirt. To make the army 
appear somewhat alike, each soldier wore in his hat a sprig of 
green. Washington took post at Wilmington, while troops of 
light horse and infantry were sent on to annoy the advance of 
the enemy, who were already landing at the head of the Elk 
River. The patriot cause looked almost hopeless. With the 
greatest efforts, Washington had collected only about eleven 
thousand five hundred men, while the English numbered, accord- 
ing to returns in the British Department of State, nineteen 
thousand five hundred, besides officers. The contrast in the dis- 
cipline and equipments of the two armies was yet more marked. 
Howe was within fifty-four miles of Philadelphia, with a level 
country before him, no strong positions for defence, and a popula- 
tion largely royalist or indifferent. Yet Washington determined 
to hazard a battle before yielding the national capital. 

Considerable skirmishing now took place, during which 
occurred one of those wonderful instances of preservation so 
characteristic of Washington's career. " We had not lain long," 
says Major Ferguson, of the rifle corps, " when a rebel officer, 
remarkable by a huzzar dress, pressed toward our army, within a 
hundred yards of my right flank, not perceiving us. He was 


followed by another, dressed in a dark green and blue, mounted 
on a bay horse, with a remarkable high cocked-hat. I ordered 
three good shots to steal near and fire at them ; but the idea dis- 
gusting me, I recalled the order. The huzzar, in returning, made 
a circuit, but the other passed within a hundred yards of us, upon 
which I advanced from the wood toward him. Upon my calling 
he stopped, but after looking at me he proceeded. I again drew 
his attention and made signs to him to stop, leveling my piece at 
him ; but he slowly cantered away. As I was within that dis- 
tance at which, in the quickest firing, I could have lodged half a 
dozen balls in or about him before he was out of my reach, I had 
only to determine ; but it was not pleasant to fire at the back of 
an unoffending individual who was acquitting himself very coolly 
of his duty ; so I let him alone. The day after, I had been telling 
this story to some wounded officers who lay in the same room 
with me, when one of the surgeons, who had been dressing the 
wounded rebel officers, came in and told us that they had in- 
formed him that General Washington was all the morning with 
the light troops, and only attended by a French officer in a huzzar 
dress, he himself dressed and mounted in every point as above 
described. I am not sorry that I did not know at the time who 
it was." 

Washington finally took position back of the Brandywine to 
defend the principal route to Philadelphia, which crosses at 
Chad's Ford ; while General Sullivan was stationed above to 
watch the fords and protect the right flank. Howe immediately 
made his arrangements to repeat the tactics of Long Island. 
Knyphausen and the Hessians were to make a feint of forcing a 
passage at Chad's Ford, while Cornwallis led the bulk of the army 
higher up the river. Washington, advised of the movement, de- 
cided to cross the river himself and cut off Knyphausen's detach- 
ment before Howe, who had gone on with Cornwallis, could 
return to his aid. Word was at once dispatched to Sullivan to 
move over the fords and keep Cornwallis busy. Unfortunately 
Sullivan was not informed of the progress of the enemy, and, 
relying upon insufficient information, disobeyed his orders and 
halted. Precious time was lost. The plan was abandoned, and 
before Sullivan could believe that Cornwallis had left Kennet 
Square, in front of Chad's Ford, he was actually, with thirteen 
thousand men, fairly across and on the heights near Birmingham 
Meeting-House, within two miles of his own right flank. Sulli- 

S ^77. 1 '] BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE. 229 

van now did what he could to remedy the terrible mistake ; but 
before he could get his men into position, the British were upon 
him with the bayonet. The raw militia hurled back charge after 
charge, but at length gave way and streamed across the fields 
toward the main body. Lafayette, struggling sword in hand to 
rally the fugitives, was shot through the leg by a musket ball, and 
was helped off by his aide-de-camp. 

Meantime, Washington had been waiting in anxious expecta- 
tion. Suddenly a whig- farmer, named Thomas Cheney, dashed 
into camp, his horse covered with foam, and informed him that 
while out reconnoitering up the river, he had suddenly come upon 
the enemy ; that they fired upon him, and he had only escaped by 
the swiftness of his horse. Washington, misled so often, doubted 
the intelligence, but the man exclaimed, " My life for it, you are 
mistaken. Put me under guard till you find my story true!" 
Just then came word from Sullivan, and soon the booming of 
guns told that the news was only too correct. Putting himself at 
the head of a division of Pennsylvanians and Virginians, Washing- 
ton hastened to the relief of the imperiled right. Greene, with 
one brigade, marched four miles in forty-two minutes. Opening 
his ranks to let the flying militia pass through, he closed them 
again to check the pursuers. At a narrow defile about a mile 
from Dilworth, which Washington had already selected, he took 
a stand. The British came in hot haste, expecting no opposition. 
But Greene held his ground obstinately. When night came on, 
he drew off his men at leisure. Wayne defended Chad's Ford 
against Knyphausen until the heavy cannonading, and finally the 
appearance of the British on his flank, warned him of his danger, 
when he retreated in good order. 

Lafayette gives a graphic picture of the scene along the road 
to Chester during the flight of the militia. Terror and confusion 
were everywhere ; fugitives, cannon, and wagons recklessly 
crowded along pell-mell, while, above all, in the rear sounded 
volleys of musketry and the roar of the guns. Amid the disorder 
and darkness, it was impossible to check the torrent. At the 
bridge in Chester, Lafayette placed a guard. Washington and the 
troops of Generals Greene, Wayne, Armstrong, and others here 
came up, and the wearied army found repose. The English had 
marched far, and the check by Greene was too decided to admit 
of any further pursuit. 

September nth had been a sad day for the patriot cause. The 




American loss was about one thousand, the British half us great 
The streets of Philadelphia were full of citizens anxiously listen- 
ing to the sound of the cannonade. When news came of the 
American defeat, the whigs were in consternation. Many de- 
serted their homes and fled, leaving all behind them. Congress 
that evening voted to adjourn to Lancaster, whence it afterward 
removed to York with all the archives of the government. 

In this time of general fear, one loves to linger on single 
instances of heroism. Among the 
names to be remembered is that ot 
Hannah Irwin Israel, whose husband 
was a prisoner on board a 
British frigate in full sight 
of his own house. He had 
been heard to say that he 
would sooner drive his cat- 
tle as a present to General 



American Routes. II 

ijj British Routes. DO 

J^£v "V alley T. >Tge~\L~ / \;:- . . 

Washington, than 
to receive for them 
thousands of dollars 
in British gold. As 
a retort, a detachment of soldiers 
was sent to his meadow to slaugh- 
ter his cattle before his eyes. His 
spirited young wife, who was not 
yet out of her teens, saw the move- 
ment, and with quick wit divined its cause. Taking with her 
a young boy, only eight years of age, she ran to the field, 
threw down the bars, and commenced to drive out the cattle. 
" Stop, or we shall shoot you ! " shouted the soldiers. " Fire 
away ! " was the only answer of the intrepid woman, intent on her 
determination. The balls fell thick and fast about her, but she 
carried her point, saved her property, and saw the foiled enemy 
go empty-handed back to their ship. Her husband was tried, and 

Sep i777' 20 '] TIIE MASSACRE AT PAOLI. 231 

only saved his life by giving- the Masonic sign to the presiding 
officer, who, he had discovered, was a member of the order. At 
this magical signal everything was changed. The patriot, who 
had been served with the meanest of food and whose bed was a 
coil of ropes on the open deck, was now sent to his home, in a 
splendid barge, loaded with presents for his heroic wife, while the 
tory witnesses who had caused his arrest, received a reprimand 
for wishing harm to an honorable man. 

Washington was in nowise discouraged by the defeat of 
Brandywine. The next day he moved to Germantown, where 
he gave his men only a day's rest, and then recrossed the Schuyl- 
kill, and taking the Lancaster road, went out to meet Howe again, 
if need be, on the same field. The two armies came in sight near 
the Warren tavern, twenty miles from Philadelphia. The ad- 
vanced posts had begun to skirmish, and a battle seemed immi- 
nent, when a deluging rain, which lasted for twenty-four hours, 
checked all movements. The Americans had no tents or blankets, 
their guns became wet, and finally it was discovered that the 
cartridge-boxes were so poorly made that they admitted the 
water, and the ammunition was spoiled. There were few bayonets, 
and retreat was the only resource. All day and part of the next 
night, the army, a thousand of the men barefoot, marched, under a 
pelting rain, over muddy roads, to Warwick furnace, where sup- 
plies were secured. 

Moving thence to defend the passage of the Schuylkill, Wayne 
was left to hang on the enemy's rear and cut off the baggage. 
He concealed his command deep in the wood, and supposed no 
one knew of his whereabouts, while his spies watched the British 
camp. Unfortunately, he was surrounded by tories, who kept 
Howe perfectly informed of all his movements. Grey, known as 
the " no-flint " general, because he usually ordered his men to re- 
move the flints from their muskets when about to make an attack, 
prepared with a strong detachment to surprise him. On the night 
of September 20th, Wayne, expecting reinforcements, had ordered 
his troops to lie on their arms. But, in the dark and rain, Grey 
stealthily approached the camp, cutting down the pickets on the 
way. The alarm was given and Wayne drew up his men, unfor- 
tunately, in front of their fires. By the light, the enemy saw dis- 
tinctly where to strike. Suddenly the British dashed out of the 
shade of the forest, and the bayonet made short work. Three 
hundred of the patriots were killed, wounded, or captured, many 


being mercilessly butchered after they had surrendered. The 
British lost only seven men. Wayne, by his presence of mind, 
saved the rest of his detachment and rejoined Washington. 

The Paoli massacre, as it was called, left open the way to 
Philadelphia. By a feigned movement toward Reading, as if to 

seize the stores at that point, 
Howe decoyed Washington to 
defend the upper fords of the 
Schuylkill, while he turned in the 
night, and, crossing below, struck 
boldly between Philadelphia and 
the American army. Howe en- 
tered the city on the 26th. The 
army was put into winter-quar- 
the paoli monument. ters there and at Germantown. 

As the British general, with his 
brilliant staff and escort, marched into Philadelphia, followed by 
a long train of the choicest troops in the army — grenadiers, light- 
dragoons, and artillerymen with shining brass pieces, all in holiday 
array — they presented an imposing spectacle. Conquerors they 
proclaimed themselves in every motion; stepping proudly to the 
swelling music of God Save the King, and " presenting," says 
Irving, " with their scarlet uniforms, their glittering arms and 
flaunting feathers, a striking contrast to the poor patriot troops, 
who had recently passed through the same streets, weary and 
wayworn, and happy if they could cover their raggedness with a 
brown linen hunting-frock, and decorate their caps with a sprig 
of evergreen." 

Washington's campaign seemed a failure. Really, however, it 
was a success. By delaying Howe a month in marching little 
over fifty miles, he had rendered Saratoga possible. Howe was 
to have taken the city and then sent reinforcements to the north. 
By the time he had accomplished his task, the fate of Burgoyne 
was virtually decided. Moreover, the capture of the national 
capital proved not as great a piece of good fortune as was antici- 
pated. The dissipation of the winter sadly demoralized the army, 
so that Franklin wittily said, " Howe had not taken Philadelphia 
so much as Philadelphia had taken Howe." 

Washington would not let the enemies of his country rest in 
peace. A few weeks after they had nestled down in their snug 
quarters, he made arrangements for a surprise upon their encamp- 

Oct. 4-, 


ment at Germantown. Howe, having sent off a detachment 
against the forts along the Delaware, and another to convey some 
provisions, gave Washington just the opportunity he wanted. In 
the evening of October 3d, the American army set out from its 
encampment at Skippack Creek upon this hazardous expedition. 
The troops moved in four columns by as many roads. Two of 
these were to attack the enemy in front and one on each flank. 
They were to time their march of fourteen miles so as to reach 
the neighborhood early enough to give the men a short rest, and 
then at daybreak to fall simultaneously upon the British camp. 

The column, consisting of Sullivan's and Wayne's divisions, 
and Conway's brigade, which was to enter Germantown by the 
Chestnut Hill road and thence through the principal street of the 
village, found the alarm had been given by the patrols, and the 
picket on Mount Airy was under arms. It was, however, soon 
driven back upon a battalion of light infantry and the fortieth 
regiment, under the veteran Colonel Musgrave. A sharp skir- 
mish followed. Wayne's men were not to be stopped. They re- 
membered the terrible night of September 20th, and their hearts 
were steeled and their arms nerved. It was now their turn to 
use the bayonet, and the officers could not hold them back, even 
when the time for mercy came. They raised the terrible cry of 
"Revenge! Revenge! Have at the blood - hounds ! " Howe, 
springing from his bed, and rushing in among the fugitives, 
shouted, " For shame ! I never saw you retreat before ! It is 
only a scouting party ! " But the rattling grape-shot told a more 
serious story, and he rushed off to prepare for a battle. In Phila- 
delphia, Cornwallis heard the roar of the guns and hastened re- 
inforcements to the rescue. Musgrave would not flee, but threw 
himself with six companies into the large stone mansion of Justice 
Chew, barricaded the doors and windows, and opened fire upon 
the pursuing troops. Up to this point all went well for the 
patriot cause. 

Now came a turn in the tide. Instead of watching this little 
fortress with a detachment, the troops stopped to capture it, 
General Knox declaring that it was against every rule of war to 
leave a fort in the rear. So much for red tape. Smith, a gallant 
Virginian, advanced, bearing a flag with a summons to surrender. 
He was fired upon and mortally wounded. Cannon were brought 
to bear, but proved too light. Attempts were made to set fire to 
the house, but in vain. After a precious half-hour was wasted, 



roct. 4, 

L 1777. 

the column moved on, leaving a regiment to guard the place. 
During the attack, the troops had become separated. A dense fog 
made it impossible to recognize one another, and parties fre- 
quently exchanged shots before they found out their mistake. 
The two columns of militia which were to attack the flanks never 
fired a shot. Greene, who had nearly two-thirds of the army, 
was to strike the English right wing near the market-place, but 
being three-quarters of an hour late, the British were ready to 


receive him, and his attack proved a failure. Williams's regi- 
ment of Virginians pushed gallantly forward, and took prisoners a 
large party of the British, but raising a shout brought a larger 
force upon them through the fog, and they were compelled to 
surrender. Woodford's brigade opened a cannonade on Chew's 
house. Wayne's men had now pushed down the street ; but, 
alarmed by this firing and supposing the British had gained their 
rear and cut them off from camp, they became panic-stricken. In 
their retreat they came upon Stephen's brigade, where, being 
mistaken for the enemy, they caused a fresh flurry among these 
troops. Sullivan's men had exhausted their ammunition, when 
they were startled by the cry of a light-horseman that they were 
surrounded. Washington, who was in the very front of the battle 
and under the hottest fire, now gave the order to retreat. It was 
sent to every detachment, and the men crept off in the fog as 


silently as they came. Pulaski with his cavalry gallantly covered 
the movement. Not a cannon was left behind. The British lost 
about six hundred and the patriots one thousand, including 
General Nash and other valuable officers. 

The battle was counted as an American defeat ; yet it greatly 
encouraged the patriots. They afterward learned that they had 
come off in the very moment of victory ; that Howe was on the 
point of retreating, and that Chester had been already named as 
the place of rendezvous. The British officers could but respect a 
general who displayed so much daring, and whose plans would have 
certainly ended in the utter route of their army, had it not been 
for events over which he could have no control. This battle also 
had an excellent effect in Europe. Count Vergennes said to the 
American commissioners in Paris that " Nothing struck him so 
much as General Washington's advancing and giving battle to 
General Howe. To bring an army raised within a year to this, 
promises everything." 

While New Jersey had been the centre of interest, some events 
had occurred at the northward worth recording. When Wash- 
ington was hurrying his weary men from Princeton, he sent a 
note to General Heath, then in command of the American troops 
collected in the Highlands, to make a demonstration upon New 
York, hoping thereby to induce the enemy to withdraw troops 
from Jersey for the defence of that city. Heath accordingly ad- 
vanced to King's Bridge, and sent a bombastic summons to Fort 
Independence, threatening to put everybody to the sword who 
did not surrender within twenty minutes. After a few days 
skirmishing, learning of troops up the Sound which might get in 
his rear, he withdrew, the laughing-stock of both armies. 

In March, General Howe, with a fleet of ten sail, ascended 
the Hudson to Peekskill, and, landing, set fire to a large quantity 
of army stores collected at that place. General McDougal, hav- 
ing only two hundred and fifty men, could muster little defence 
against the overwhelming force of the enemy. 

Late in April, Governor Tryon, with about two thousand men, 
left New York to destroy the military supplies at Danbury, Con- 
necticut. He landed at the foot of Compo Hill, near the mouth 
of the Saugatuck River. The expedition was a surprise and met 
with no resistance. At Bethel, on the way, an amusing incident 
occurred. One Luther Holcomb, in order to lengthen the time 
as much as possible for the benefit of the people of Danbury, rode 

236 THIRD YEAR OF THE REVOLUTION. [ Apri ,' 7 77' 2a 

to the top of a hill, over which the British were about to make 
their way, and, waving his hat, turned to an imaginary host in his 
rear, shouting, " Halt the whole universe ! break off into king- 
doms ! " Tryon immediately checked his army, arranged his 
cannon so as to sweep the advancing enemy, and sent out recon- 
noitering parties. Holcomb, content with having stopped the 
whole army by a bit of rodomontade, put spurs to his horse and 
retreated to Danbury, leaving the duped general to digest the 
joke as amiably as possible. Guided by two tories of Danbury, 
Tryon reached that place and destroyed the stores. The night 
was passed in drinking and carousing. At dawn, the torch was 
set to all the houses except those of the tories, and, amid the 
flames of the burning town, the troops started on their return. 

Then ensued a scene like that of Lexington and Concord two 
years before. The militia were fast gathering from the neighbor- 
ing villages. Tryon took a new route, hoping to dodge his foes, 
but they were not to be thrown off. General Wooster, then a 
veteran of near seventy, with a little force of two hundred, hung 
on the rear. While encouraging his men he was mortally 
wounded. Generals Arnold and Silliman hurried to Ridgefield, 
and, throwing up a barricade across the road, with five hundred men 
awaited the advance of two thousand. They held their post for 
a quarter of an hour, when it was outflanked. A whole platoon 
fired upon Arnold at a distance of thirty yards. His horse fell, 
and a tory rushed up, calling upon him to surrender. " Not yet," 
exclaimed Arnold, as he sprang to his feet, drew a pistol, and shot 
the man dead. Then, springing toward a swamp, under a shower 
of bullets, he escaped unharmed, and was soon off mustering the 
militia on the road in advance of the British. 

Tryon remained here all night, and the next day renewed his 
perilous journey. The patriots, from behind stone walls and 
buildings, continually annoyed the march. Lamb, with artillery 
and volunteers from New Haven, was at the Saugatuck bridge. 
Tryon avoided them by fording the river a mile above, and then, 
putting his men at full speed, ran for the hill of Compo. 
Some of the Continentals pushed across the bridge and struck 
them in flank ; some kept along the west side and galled them 
with shot and ball, and some forded the stream and fired on the 
rear-guard. Arnold led on the attack until his horse was dis- 
abled, and seamen from the fleet, coming to the rescue, checked 
the Americans in their eager pursuit. Tryon's wearied party 

July 10,-1 
1777. J 



now embarked, harassed to the very last by Lamb's artillery. In 
this useless exploit the British lost two hundred men, and, by 
their savage ferocity, kindled everywhere a hatred that burned 
long after peace had come. Congress voted Arnold a capari- 
soned horse, as a token of approbation for his gallant conduct. 

The next month Colonel Meigs avenged the loss at Danbury. 
Embarking in whale-boats at Guilford about two hundred militia- 


In July, Lieutenant-Colonel 

men, he crossed the Sound 
on the night of May 23d, and 
reaching Sag Harbor at day- 
break, burned there a British 
vessel of half a dozen guns 
and several loaded transports, 
destroyed the stores, and cap- 
tured ninety prisoners, escap- 
ing without the loss of a man. 
For this brilliant feat Congress 
presented him a sword. 
Barton laid a plan to capture 

General Prescott, in command of the British forces in Rhode 


Island, who was quartered at a lonely farm-house near Newport. 
Taking about forty militia in boats, Barton rowed across Narra- 
ganset Bay, through the English fleet, dexterously avoiding their 
vessels, and landed in a cove close by the general's quarters. 
Seizing the astonished sentinel who guarded his door, they 
entered the house, captured, and hurried off the half- dressed 
general. A soldier, escaping from the house, gave the alarm, 
but the laughing guard assured him he had seen a ghost. They 
soon, however, found it to be no jesting matter, and vainly pur- 
sued the exultant Barton ; for, while they were searching the 
sand on the shore for the foot-prints of his party, he passed under 
the stern of the English guard-ship and escaped to Providence. 
" You have made a bold push to-night," said Prescott as they 
landed. " We have done as well as we could," replied Barton. 
He received a sword from Congress and was also promoted to 
a colonelcy. 

Unfortunately, Lee was the only officer in Howe's possession 
with the same rank as Prescott, and they were exchanged. It 
proved no gain to the patriot cause, although at that time every- 
body rejoiced that by this daring feat they had again secured the 
" palladium of their liberties." 

While Burgoyne was making his desperate adventure at the 
north, Clinton attempted a diversion from the south, as was ex- 
pected at the beginning of the campaign. Putnam, commanding 
on the Hudson, in his easy good-nature had allowed his troops to 
become scattered, so that he had only two thousand men for the 
defence of the Highlands. Clinton made a feint on Fishkill, 
which led Putnam off on a wild-goose chase. George Clinton, 
governor of New York, however, saw the real point of danger, 
and hastened, with his brother and all the troops he could gather, 
to Forts Clinton and Montgomery. October 6th, the British 
landed and carried both forts by storm. The garrison made a 
desperate resistance, but, being overpowered by superior num- 
bers, fled, and, favored by the gathering darkness, mostly escaped 
over the hills. The heavy iron chain and boom which had been 
put across the river to prevent the ascent of the British fleet was 
now useless. Two American frigates, sent down for the defence 
of the obstructions, were becalmed, and were fired to prevent 
their falling into the hands of the enemy. Fort Constitution 
being abandoned, the Hudson was opened to Albany. Clinton, 
however, took no advantage of the opportunity, but returned to 


New York, leaving Burgoyne to his fate. Vaughan remained 
behind and led a marauding party as far up as Kingston (October 
15th), burning and plundering that town and the houses of 
patriots along the river. If Clinton had gone on to Albany, 
Gates, then on the eve of success, would have been forced to 
retreat into New England, and Burgoyne's way would have been 
clear. As it was, this wanton, useless expedition only excited 
wide-spread indignation. 

A very amusing incident is told which occurred during this 
sally. Some Dutchmen were at work near a swampy flat, 
when suddenly the red-coats came in view. It was low water, 
and they fled across the flats toward Ponkhocken, as fast as their 
legs could carry them, not daring to look behind, lest, like Lot's 
wife, they might be detained. The summer haymakers had left a 
rake on the marsh meadow, and upon this one of the fugitives 
trod, the handle striking him in the back. Not doubting that a 
" Britisher " was close upon his heels, he stopped short, and, 
throwing up his hands imploringly, exclaimed, " O, mein Cot ! 
mein Cot ! I kivs up. Hoorah for King Shorge ! " 

Meantime, Governor Clinton had been trying to raise a force 
for the defence of Kingston. While he was encamped near New 
Windsor, collecting the scattered troops, one day about noon a 
horseman galloped in hot haste up to the sentinel on guard, and, 
in answer to his challenge, said, "lam a friend and wish to see 
General Clinton." He was admitted to the general's presence, 
but on entering betrayed an involuntary surprise, and muttering, 
" I am lost ! " was seen to hastily put something into his mouth 
and swallow it. Suspicion being thus excited, he was arrested 
and given a heavy dose of tartar emetic. This brought to light a 
silver bullet, which, however, the prisoner succeeded in again 
swallowing. He refused to repeat the dose, but was assured 
that resistance was useless, as, in case he persisted, he would 
be immediately hanged and a post-mortem examination effected. 
Having yielded, the bullet was at length secured. It was found 
to be hollow, and secreted within it was the following note, 
written two days before : 

"Fort Montgomery, Oct. 8, 1777. 

"Nous y void, and nothing now between us and Gates. I 
sincerely hope this little success of ours may facilitate your 
operations. In answer to your letter of the 28th of September 



roct. 12, 

L 1777. 



by C. C, I shall only say, I cannot presume to order or even 
advise, for reasons obvious. I heartily wish you success. 

" Faithfully yours, " H. CLINTON. 

" General Burgoyne.'" 

This established the guilt of the prisoner. The secret mes- 
senger of Sir Henry Clinton had supposed the Americans to be 
utterly routed in the Highlands; 
and the persistent contempt of 
the British, who never granted 
the honor of a military title to 
any American officer — addressing 
the commander-in-chief himself 
only as Mr. Washington — so mis- 
led him that when he heard of his 
proximity to General Clinton, he 
supposed himself of course among 
his own friends. He was tried, 
condemned, and hanged as a spy 
while the flames of burning Eso- 
pus, fired by Vaughan's maraud- 

^^^^-V^-P^" EXEC 



ing party, streamed up the distant sky, 
in full sight of the apple-tree on which 
he ignominiously swung. 

In order to prevent the English fleet 
from ascending the Delaware, that river had been carefully forti- 
fied. A few miles below Philadelphia, a strong redoubt, called 
Fort Mifflin, had been erected, and on the New Jersey shore, at Red 
Bank, another, named Fort Mercer. The principal channel, lying 
between these fortifications, had been obstructed by strong chevaux 

0< J777. 2 '] ATTACK ON FORT MERCER. 241 

de /rise, or frames made of heavy timbers, armed with spikes and 
filled with stone, so as to keep them in their place. Under the 
protection of the guns were moored floating batteries, galleys, 
and fire-ships. Further down the river, at Billingsport, was 
another fort with similar obstructions ; these, however, were 
captured by an English detachment soon after the battle of 
Brandy wine, and, by the middle of October, several vessels broke 
a passage through the obstacles in the channel. The upper forts 
remained, and it was determined to defend them to the last. 
Colonel Greene was in command at Fort Mercer, with four 
hundred Rhode Island Continentals, having Captain Mauduit 
Duplessis, a brave French engineer officer, to direct the artillery. 
Fort Mifflin was garrisoned by Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, and 
about the same number of Maryland troops of the line. The 
fleet was under Commodore Hazlewood. Howe saw that he 
must open up communications with his ships, or his position in 
Philadelphia would become untenable from the difficulty of secur- 
ing supplies. 

On the morning of the 22d of October, the little garrison at 
Fort Mercer was startled by the appearance on the edge of the 
woods, within cannon-shot, of a body of Hessians, twelve hun- 
dred strong, under Count Donop. Soon an officer with a flag and 
a drummer approached and pompously demanded a surrender — 
" The king of England orders his rebellious subjects to lay down 
their arms, and they are warned that if they stand the battle no 
quarter will be given." Greene at once replied, " We ask no quar- 
ter, nor will we give any." Hurried preparations were made for 
defence. About five o'clock the enemy advanced to the assault in 
columns, headed by a captain, with the carpenters and their axes, 
and a hundred men carrying fascines for filling the ditches. The 
outworks were unfinished, and the garrison made little attempt to 
defend them. The Hessians, elated by the easy victory, entered 
at two points, and rushed forward with the drum "beating a 
lively march." Not a man was to be seen, and on the north side 
some even reached the earthworks, when a terrible musketry fire 
burst forth. At the same time their flanks were raked with 
grape-shot from a battery in the angle of the embankment, and 
chain-shot from a couple of galleys concealed behind the bushes 
on the bank. The Hessians, however, pressed ahead. Under 
Donop at the south side they broke through the abattis, filled the 
ditch, and began to ascend the rampart. But those who reached 


the top were struck down by spear and bayonet. Donop fell 
mortally wounded. The rest were forced to fall back to the pro- 
tection of the forest. In this brief hour of slaughter, the British 
lost four hundred men and the Americans only thirty-eight. 

While Mauduit was inspecting the works after the assault 
was repulsed, he heard some one calling out, " Whoever you are, 
draw me hence." It proved to be Count Donop, who, mortally 
wounded, was wedged in among the bodies of the slain. He lived 
three days afterward, receiving every possible comfort from Mau- 
duit, who personally attended him until his death. " It is finish- 
ing a noble career early," he said to his kind companion. " I die 
the victim of my ambition and of the avarice of my king ; but, 
dying in the arms of honor, I have no regrets." Thus perished 
this brave man, at the age of thirty-seven. He was buried near 
the fort he vainly sought to capture. A rough boulder marks the 
spot. His bones have been carried off by relic-hunters, and his 
skull is said to be in the hands of a New Jersey physician. 

The British fleet ascended the river to take part in the contest. 
The next day they opened a heavy cannonade on Fort Mifflin. 
The reply from fort and fleet was too severe, and they were 
forced to drop down the stream. Two frigates, the Augusta and 
the Merlin, grounded. The former was blown up by red-hot 
shot from the American guns, several of her officers and crew 
perishing in the explosion ; the latter was set on fire and aban- 
doned by her crew. 

During the attack, one old lady remained in her house on 
the bank of the river, answering urgent entreaties to flee with 
" God's arm is strong, and will protect me ; I may do good by 
staying." She was left to her fate, and while the balls whizzed 
and rattled, battering against the brick walls of her dwelling, like 
hailstones in a tempest, the steady hum of her spinning-wheel was 
undisturbed and unbroken. At length a twelve-pounder came 
booming through the side of the house, sundering partitions with 
a terrific crash, and landing in a wall near the plucky spinner. 
Taking her wheel, she now retreated to the cellar, where she con- 
tinued her industry till the battle was over. She then put her 
spinning aside, and devoted herself to the suffering wounded who 
were brought into her house. She cared for all alike, but admin- 
istered a stirring rebuke to the mercenary Hessians, while, at the 
same time, she tenderly dressed their wounds. The name of this 
brave woman was Anna Whitall, a Quakeress. 

N0v i777. 20 '] CAPTURE OF MERCER AND RED BANK. 243 

The British now adopted surer measures for the reduction of 
the forts. Heavy works were erected on the Pennsylvania shore 
and on Province Island at a distance of five hundred yards. In all, 
fourteen redoubts manned with heavy artillery, a floating bat- 
tery of twenty-two guns at forty yards, and a fleet carrying three 
hundred and thirty -six guns, were brought to bear upon this 
devoted garrison. From the 10th to the 15th, they kept up an 
unbroken rain of bomb and shot. Smith was wounded and left 
the fort ; the next in rank being also disabled, Major Thayer of 
Rhode Island volunteered for the command. On the last day, 
other vessels worked up into the narrow channel next the shore, 
where they could throw in hand-grenades. About ten o'clock, 
a bugle-note gave the signal, and the fire was renewed with 
redoubled energy. The only two serviceable guns were dis- 
mounted. The yard-arms of the ships overlooked the earth- 
works, so that sharp-shooters perched in the tops picked off every 
man who showed himself upon the platforms. In the night, the 
remainder of the garrison, nearly two hundred and fifty having 
been killed or wounded, passed over to Red Bank. When the 
British entered the deserted works the next morning, they found 
nearly every cannon stained with the blood of its gallant de- 

Howe, having been heavily reinforced from New York, sent 
Cornwallis with a superior body of troops along the left shore of 
the Delaware. Red Bank was evacuated, part of the American 
vessels escaping during a dark night up to Burlington, and the 
rest being destroyed. The British leveled the fortifications, 
removed a part of the obstructions, and soon had complete con- 
trol of the river. Philadelphia was fortified, and Howe's position 
became secure. 

Winter had come, but Washington was unwilling to send his 
men to York, Lancaster, or Carlisle, the nearest towns where 
they could be comfortably housed, as that would leave a large 
and fertile country open to the incursions of the enemy. So he 
still kept his famishing and suffering army in the field. On the 
night of December 4th, Howe quietly left Philadelphia with four- 
teen thousand men, hoping to surprise Washington and " drive 
the Federal army over the Blue Mountains." To his astonish- 
ment, he found Washington occupying a strong position in 
wooded heights at Whitemarsh, all ready to receive him. For 
several days he skirmished about, trying to draw Washington 

244 THIRD YEAR OF THE REVOLUTION. [ De , c 7 ^-«. 

out of his camp, but finding this impossible, and not daring to 
attack him in his chosen position, during the night of the 8th he 
decamped and hastened back to Philadelphia, making such good 
time that the next day none but the American light-horse could 
overtake his rear-guard. 

The secret of his failure may be easily told. The British 
adjutant-general had fixed upon a back-chamber in the house of 
William and Lydia Darrah, as a convenient place for private con- 
ference ; and here he often met one or more officers in close 
consultation. One day he requested Lydia to prepare the room 
with fire and candles, as he should need it that evening, adding 
in an impressive voice, " Be sure that your family are all in bed at 
an early hour." His manner excited her curiosity, and after they 
had entered and locked themselves in their room, she quietly 
arose, and in her stocking-feet stole to the door. Putting her ear 
to the keyhole, she distinctly heard an order read for an attack on 
Washington's troops the next night. Lydia was a true patriot, 
and this order banished sleep from her eyes. In the early dawn 
she awoke her husband and informed him that she was obliged to 
go to Frankford that morning for flour. As the Philadelphians 
were chiefly dependent on the Frankford mills, this was a frequent 
occurrence, and a passport was readily furnished by General 
Howe, at whose headquarters she stopped on her way out of the 
city. She walked the five miles over the frozen snow that cold 
December morning at her utmost speed, and, halting at the mill 
only long enough to leave her bag, pressed rapidly on toward 
the American lines. Meeting Lieutenant-Colonel Craig, whom 
Washington had sent out as a scout, she relieved her mind of its 
burden. Hastening back to the mill, she shouldered her bag of 
flour and returned home without exciting suspicion. On the 
return of the discomfited troops, the adjutant-general called her 
to his room and proceeded to question her. " Lydia, were any 
of your family up on the night I received company here ? " 
" No," she promptly replied, "they all retired at eight o'clock," 
which was true. " It is very strange," he pursued ; " you, I 
know, were asleep, for I knocked at your door three times before 
you heard me when we left the house." This also was true, in so 
far as his knocking was concerned ; for the subtle Lydia had too 
much at stake to appear awake at that moment, and had feigned 
the heaviest of slumber. " It is certain we were betrayed, yet 
how I cannot imagine," he concluded, " unless the walls of the 

De i777 21 '] THE CAMP AT VALLEY FORGE. 245 

house tell tales." His meek listener left him to his own conjec- 
tures, and respectfully retired. 

Such was the condition of the soldiers and the severity of the 
season, that it became absolutely necessary to provide them with 
some shelter. Washington, after careful deliberation, selected 
Valley Forge, a secluded spot about twenty miles from Phila- 
delphia. Here he would be able to keep watch of the enemy and 
protect the people from incursions. December 1 ith, the army set 
out on its painful march of eight days. Reaching their destination, 
the men had yet to build their own houses. The 18th was ob- 
served as a " day of thanksgiving and praise," says the record. It 
must have been truly a patient heart that, in that extremity, could 
have felt any response to such a recommendation of Congress. 

The next day, the troops began to cut down trees and erect 
log-houses over the sloping hill-sides. The huts were each four- 
teen feet by sixteen ; the interstices were filled with clay ; the fire- 
places were plastered with the same material ; and the roofs were 
covered with split planks, or thatched with boughs. These rude 
dwellings were arranged in regular streets, and within the Christ- 
mas holidays the Valley took on quite the look of a military en- 

While this work was going briskly forward, Washington re- 
ceived news that the enemy was making a sortie toward Chester. 
On orders being issued for the troops to be ready to march, the 
generals replied, " Fighting is preferable to starving." The men, 
already without bread for three and meat for two days, had muti- 
nied. In this emergency, with his shivering, famishing men around 
him, Washington learned that the Legislature of Pennsylvania had 
remonstrated against his going into winter-quarters, instead of 
keeping the field. It manifested a cruel indifference, and he in- 
dignantly wrote to the president of Congress : " Gentlemen repro- 
bate the going into winter-quarters as much as if they thought the 
soldiers were made of stocks or stones, and equally insensible of 
cold and hunger. * * * I can assure these gentlemen, that it 
is a much easier, less distressing thing, to draw remonstrances in 
a comfortable room, by a good fireside, than to occupy a bleak 
hill, and sleep under frost and snow, without clothes or blankets. 
However, although they seem to have little feeling for the naked 
and distressed soldiers, I feel abundantly for them, and from my 
soul I pity their distresses, which it is neither in my power to 
relieve nor prevent." 





This spirited rebuke did not still the clamor, and Washing- 
ton was even advised to risk all and dash his little army to 
pieces by hurling it against the strong entrenchments of the 
English at Philadelphia, rather than endure longer the reproach 
of inactivity. 

Washington's headquarters at valley forge. 



HE winter at Valley Forge was, in- 
deed, the darkest period of all 
that " time which tried men's 
souls." The Continental paper- 
money was so depreciated in 
value that an officer's pay would 
not keep him in clothes. Many, 
having spent their entire for- 
tunes in the war, were now com- 
pelled to resign, in order to get a 
living. The men were encamped 
in cold, comfortless huts, with 
little food or clothing. Fre- 
quently there was only one suit of clothes for two soldiers, which 
they would take turns in wearing. Barefooted, they left on the 
frozen ground their tracks in blood. Few had blankets. Num- 
bers were compelled to sit by their fires all night. Their fuel 
they were compelled to carry on their backs from the woods 
where they cut it. Straw could not be obtained. Soldiers who 
were enfeebled by hunger and benumbed by cold, slept on the 
bare earth, and sickness followed such exposure. Within three 
weeks, two thousand men were rendered unfit for duty. With no 
change of clothing, no suitable food, and no medicines, death was 
the only relief. A distinguished foreign officer has related that 
at this time he was " walking one day with General Washington 
among the huts, when he heard many voices echoing through the 
open crevices between the logs, 'No pay, no clothes, no provisions, 
no rum ! ' And when a miserable wretch was seen flitting from 
one hut to another, his nakedness was only covered by a dirty 


Amid this terrible suffering, the fires of patriotism burned 
brightly. Every effort was made to induce the suffering soldiers 
to desert and join the British army ; but few, however, proved 
false, and these were mainly foreigners. Washington felt that 
his cause was just, and inspired all around him with his sublime 
faith. One day during the winter, while Isaac Potts, at whose 
house Washington was quartered, was on his way up the creek, 
he heard a voice of prayer in the thicket near by. Softly follow- 
ing its direction, he soon discovered the general upon his knees, 
his cheek wet with tears. Narrating this incident to his wife, he 
added with deep emotion, " If there is any one to whom the Lord 
will listen, it is George Washington, and under such a com- 
mander our independence is certain." 

In January, a raft made of kegs full of powder, and fitted with 
machinery to explode them upon striking any object, was floated 
down the river. One of the kegs burst opposite Philadelphia. 
The fleet which had been lying in the stream happened to have 
been drawn into the harbor that night, and so escaped injury. 
Great alarm was caused in the city by this singular device of the 
Yankees. The cannon were trained upon every strange object 
floating on the water, and for twenty-four hours thereafter no 
innocent chip even could get by without a shot. Judge Hopkin- 
son wrote the following comic ballad upon the circumstance. It 
was set to the tune of Yankee Doodle : 


" Gallants attend, and hear a friend 
Trill forth harmonious ditty ; 
Strange things I'll tell, which late befell 
In Philadelphia city. 

" 'Twas early day, as poets say, 
Just when the sun was rising, 
A soldier stood on log of wood, 
And saw a thing surprising. 

" As in amaze he stood to gaze, 
(The truth can't be denied, sir), 
He spied a score of kegs, or more, 
Come floating down the tide, sir. 

" A sailor, too, in jerkin blue, 

The strange appearance viewing, 
First wiped his eyes, in great surprise, 
Then said, ' Some mischiefs brewing. 

,7*78'.] " BATTLE OF THE KEGS." £49 

" ' These kegs, I'm told, the rebels hold. 
Packed up like pickled herring ; 
And they've come down t'attack the town 
In this new way of ferry'ng.' 

"The soldier flew, the sailor too, 
And, scared almost to death, sir, 
Wore out their shoes to spread the news, 
And ran till out of breath, sir. 

" Now up and down, throughout the town, 
Most frantic scenes were acted, 
And some ran here, and others there, 
Like men almost distracted. 

"Now, in a fright, Howe starts upright, 
Awaked by such a clatter ; 
He rubs both eyes, and boldly cries, 
* For God's sake, what's the matter?' 

"At his bedside, he then espied 
Sir Erskine, at command, sir ; 
Upon one foot he had one boot, 
And t'other in his hand, sir. 

" ' Arise ! arise ! ' Sir Erskine cries ; 
' The rebels — more's the pity — 
Without a boat, are all afloat, 
And ranged before the city. 

* ' The motley crew, in vessels new, 
With Satan for their guide, sir, 
Pack'd up in bags, or wooden kegs, 
Came driving down the tide, sir, 

" ' Therefore prepare for bloody war ; 
These kegs must all be routed ; 
Or surely we despised shall be, 
And British courage doubted.' 

" The royal band now ready stand, 
All ranged in dread array, sir, 
With stomach stout to see it out, 
And make a bloody day, sir. 

** The cannons roar from shore to shore. 
The small-arms loud did rattle , 
Since war began, I'm sure no man 
E'er saw so strange a battle. 


" The kegs, 'tis said, though strongly made 
Of rebel staves and hoops, sir, 
Could not oppose their powerful foes, 
The conq'ring British troops, sir. 

" From morn to night these men of might 
Display'd amazing courage, 
And when the sun was fairly down, 
Retired to sup their porridge. 

" A hundred men, with each a pen, 
Or more, upon my word, sir, 
It is most true, would be too few, 
Their valor to record, sir. 

" Such feats did they perform that day 
Against those wicked kegs, sir, 
That, years to come, if they get home, 

They'll make their boasts and brags, sir." 

Captain Henry Lee, afterward famous as " Light-horse Harry," 
first came into notice for his daring exploits during the advance 
of the British toward Philadelphia. He was the son of the " Low- 
land beauty " who, in her early days, touched Washington's heart, 
though she gave her own to another. The commander-in-chief 
had a peculiar liking for this dashing young officer, and in the fall 
of 1779 ordered all Lee's letters to be marked " private," that they 
might come directly into his hands. On the night of January 
20th, an attempt was made to surprise the captain in his quar- 
ters about six miles from Valley Forge. At daylight, he was 
awakened to find his house surrounded by two hundred British 
cavalry. Securing the doors, and placing his companions, seven 
in all, each at a window, he maintained such a steady fire that, 
after a contest of half an hour, the enemy withdrew. They then 
tried to capture his horses from the barn adjoining. Lee there- 
upon dashed out with his men, exclaiming, " Fire away, here 
comes our infantry ; we shall have them all ! " The British, sup- 
posing help was at hand, fled precipitately. Lee's men, quickly 
mounting their horses, pursued their late besiegers for a long 
distance. On the recommendation of Washington, the gallant 
captain received the rank of major, and was authorized to raise 
an independent partisan corps, afterward known through the war 
as " Lee's Legion." 

The story of the Revolution is incomplete unless a peep be 
taken behind the scenes, and some of the secret but unparal- 

1778. J 



leled difficulties experienced by the true heroes of the day be 
thoroughly understood. Valley Forge was only a part of the 
dark back-ground of the long struggle for Independence. It is a 
common idea that ours is a degenerate age ; that 1776 was a time 
of honor and honesty, of sincerity and devotion. To think this, 
is to undervalue the achievements of our Revolutionary sires, as 
well as to erect a false 
standard with which to 
compare the present. 
Whoever supposes that 


the spirit of union 
*- and of sacrifice was 

unanimous among even 
the great actors in the drama 
of Independence, utterly fails 
to comprehend the greatest 
obstacles to the successful 
prosecution of the war, and the ultimate Union of the States. 

The war, as it progressed, seemed to demoralize all classes in 
society. The pulpit, the press, and good men, sought in vain to 
stem the tide of evil. While the army was suffering so much in 
the cause of liberty, contractors became rich, and monopolists 
hoarded the very necessaries of life. Trade with the royal troops 
was opened on every side. Though the magazines at Valley Forge 


were empty, and meat was often not seen for a week at a time, 
the markets in Philadelphia were abundantly supplied. Washing- 
ton, having received authority from Congress to seize provisions 
for the troops and issue scrip therefor, ordered the farmers within 
a radius of seventy miles to thresh out one-half of their grain by 
February ist, and the rest by March ist, under penalty of having 
it all seized as straw. The inhabitants refused, and, guns in hand, 
stood guard over their stacks and cattle, even burning what they 
could not sell, to prevent its falling into the hands of the famish- 
ing patriot army. Men abandoned useful occupations to plunge 
into stock -jobbing, gambling, and other disreputable pursuits; 
counterfeited the public securities ; forged official signatures ; re- 
fused to pay their honest debts, except in depreciated paper- 
money ; and fattened upon the common necessities. Love of 
country was declared to be an illusion. There were times when 
private or public faith appeared to be the exception. Washing- 
ton, alarmed at this enemy in the rear — this new peril which 
threatened the country — wrote that "idleness, dissipation and 
extravagance seem to have laid fast hold of most ; speculation, 
peculation, and an insatiate thirst for riches have got the better 
of every other consideration and almost every order of men." 

At first the masses were enthusiastic ; but as the contest wore 
on, the slow friction of the struggle became irksome, and, in many 
quarters, apathy was almost universal. During the flight across 
New Jersey, not one hundred volunteers from that State rallied 
under the flag of their only defender. The Maryland militia, sent 
to Washington's aid just before the battle of Germantown, lost 
half its number by desertion. When Pennsylvania was overrun 
by the British, and the Federal capital in the hands of the enemy, 
there were only twelve hundred Pennsylvania militia in the 
army. Recruiting was slow ; very few enlistments were secured 
for three years, or during the war. Sabine says " that the price 
paid for a single recruit was sometimes as high as one thousand 
dollars, besides the bounty offered by Congress ; and that one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars in specie was given for only five months 
service." The soldier might be pardoned for deserting the cause 
of a country that would neither pay him nor feed him ; but what 
should be thought of a people that, before the war, could import 
one and a half million dollars worth of tea annually, besides 
other luxuries, and yet allow the men who were fighting for its 
liberties to starve and freeze in this hour of peril ? 


Even in the army which was engaged in protecting the dearest 
rights of man, all were not patriots nor honest men. Whigs were 
plundered under the pretence of being tories. Parties of a dozen 
or twenty men at a time returned home, or took refuge in the 
newer settlements of the country. In 1781, one thousand men 
perjured themselves to escape from the service, taking advantage 
of an error in the date of their enlistment. Some joined the 
royalist regiments, and became spies, guides, and informers. 
Bounty-jumpers infested the ranks. Drunkenness and theft were 
by no means uncommon. A foreigner of rank dying at Washing- 
ton's quarters, and being buried with his jewels and costly cloth- 
ing, a guard was placed over his grave to prevent the soldiers 
from digging up his body for plunder. Nor were the officers 
always better than their men. There were those who used for 
their own gratification, money designed to pay the troops under 
their command : who violated their furloughs, and grossly neg- 
lected their duty. Courts-martial were frequent, and long lists 
of the cashiered were from time to time forwarded to Congress. 
Washington declared that the officers sent him from one State 
were " not fit to be shoe-blacks," and wrote to a certain governor 
that the officers from his State were " generally from the lowest 
class, and led their men into every kind of mischief." Many of 
the surgeons, too, he complained, were rascals, receiving bribes 
to grant discharges, and applying to their private use the luxuries 
designed for the sick. There were constant feuds among the 
officers for rank and position. " I am wearied to death," wrote 
John Adams in 1777, " by the wrangles between military officers, 
high and low. They quarrel like cats and dogs." 

Members of Congress lost heart. Many of the strong men 
stayed at home and weaklings took their place. For some time 
only twenty-one members were present. A bitter opposition to 
Washington was developed, and while the demands upon him as 
commander-in-chief were as exacting as ever, his recommenda- 
tions and well-known opinions were openly thwarted or quietly 
ignored. Arnold was the oldest brigadier-general, and, in the 
opinion of Washington, there was " no more active, spirited, or 
sensible officer"; yet he was passed over in promotion. Stark, 
than whom none was braver, was also slighted, and he retired to 
his plow, and remained at home, until he came to Bennington to 
show how a victory could be won with raw militia. Gates was 
appointed adjutant-general without consulting Washington as to 


whom he desired for chief of his staff. The commissary depart- 
ment was reorganized against Washington's expressed wishes. 
Colonel Trumbull, an efficient commissary-general, at once re- 
signed. Henceforth the bad working of that department caused 
continual delays and disasters. Mifflin, the quartermaster- 
general, was disgracefully unmindful of his duties. Washington 
never could get a stock of provisions on hand for any movement 
that he contemplated. Indeed, it is said that during the dreary 
march to Valley Forge, when the shivering troops left lines of 
red behind them from their bruised and bleeding feet, that 
" hogsheads of shoes, stockings, and clothing were lying at dif- 
ferent places on the roads and in the woods, perishing for want 
of teams, or of money to pay the teamsters." 

Officers who were jealous of Washington found men in the 
national council to listen to and even sympathize with them in 
their complaints. At first, General Charles Lee was considered a 
rival of Washington, and the victory which others achieved for 
him at Charleston, was contrasted with the disastrous defeat on 
Long Island. Then Gates was brought to the front, and Saratoga 
was put by the side of Brandywine to Washington's disadvan- 
tage. Indeed, Gates, after the surrender of Burgoyne, did not 
report to the head of the army, as courtesy and military usage 
demanded, but direct to Congress, Washington only receiving 
tidings of the event through hearsay and unofficial letters. Had 
Gates dispatched his army at once to Pennsylvania after the sur- 
render, as Washington desired and earnestly entreated, Howe 
might have been driven from Philadelphia, and the same fall, 
perhaps, his whole force captured, and Saratoga re-enacted at the 
Quaker city. Yet Congress, influenced, doubtless, by the advice 
of jealous officials, forbade Washington to detach any troops from 
the northern army without consulting General Gates and the 
governor of New York. It was only with the greatest difficulty 
and by finally sending his favorite aid, Alexander Hamilton, with 
peremptory orders from the commander-in-chief, that he secured 
reinforcements either from Gates or from Putnam. 

At last a cabal was organized to displace Washington from his 
post and elevate Gates in his stead. Chief in this movement was 
General Conway, a wily, unprincipled intriguer. Pennsylvania 
sent a remonstrance to Congress against the measures of Wash- 
ington. Members from Massachusetts re-echoed their disappro- 
bation. While the patriot army was marking out the path of 




liberty with blood-stained feet, John Adams could write : " I wish 
the Continental army would prove that anything can be done. 
I am weary with so much insipidity." Samuel Adams, who was 
still more impatient, declared : " I have always been so very 
wrong-headed as not to be over-well pleased with what is called 
the Fabian war in America." Benjamin Rush, in a similar strain, 
affirmed that " a Gates, a Lee, and a Conway in a few weeks 
could render the army an irresistible body of men." 

In October, 1777, a board of war was created to have the 
general direction of military affairs. Gates became its president. 
He was urged to hasten on and 
save the country. Conway was 
made inspector-general, and his 
office declared independent of 
the commander-in-chief. By 
the advice of the board, an ex- 
pedition to Canada was planned, 
and, in order to detach Lafayette 
from Washington, to whom he 
clung with a chivalrous devo- 
tion, he was appointed to the 
command. With the quick ap- 
prehension of a loving heart, he 
detected the animus of the cabal. 
By the advice of Washington, 
however, he accepted the post. 
Proceeding to Yorktown, he 
found Gates at table, and was at 
once invited to join the repast. 
Toasts were given, and drunk in 
full glasses, according to the custom of the day. The marquis 
noticed a significant omission, and so offered as a sentiment, 
" Our commander-in-chief." It was drunk in silence. Washing- 
ton did all he could to fit out the expedition, but no one else 
aided, and Lafayette, indignant and disgusted at the failure of 
those who had promised him so much, returned to his friend and 

Washington was aware of these intrigues to remove him, 
but in perfect equipoise of mind and temper, with a patriotism 
that no disappointment or treachery could chill, and a noble 
superiority to all which affected only his personal reputation, he 



wrote to Patrick Henry these magnificent words: " If THE CAUSE 


quarter IT HAPPENS." Such generosity and devotion could but 
triumph at last. The army and most of the best men of the 
country implicitly trusted Washington. Their indignation 
toward his enemies was unbounded. The whole movement 
finally recoiled on the heads of its instigators. Congress began 
to perceive its error. The cabal lost its power. Neither Con- 
way nor Samuel Adams dared to show himself among the sol- 
diers. The office of inspector was taken from the former, and 
given to Baron Steuben. 

At the last, however, Conway was the only one of the in- 
triguers magnanimous enough to confess his fault. General 
Cadwallader, who was Washington's devoted friend, was so in- 
censed at his attempt to injure the commander-in-chief that he 
challenged him to personal combat. Conway, being wounded, 
mortally, as he believed, wrote the following letter to General 
Washington: "Sir: — I find myself just able to hold my pen 
during a few minutes, and take this opportunity of expressing my 
sincere grief for having done, written, or said anything disagree- 
able to your excellency. My career will soon be over ; therefore, 
justice and truth prompt me to declare my last sentiments. You 
are, in my eyes, the great and good man. May you long enjoy 
the love, esteem, and veneration of these States, whose liberties 
you have asserted by your virtues." Washington, too great to 
harbor resentment, said, as he closed the epistle, " Poor Conway ! 
He never could have intended much wrong ; there is nothing to 

The particulars of this duel, as related in Garden's Anecdotes 
of the Revolution, so well illustrate the manner of conducting 
those affairs that they appear worthy of record. They show, says 
the narrator, that " though imperious circumstances may compel 
men of nice feeling to meet, the dictates of honor may be satisfied 
without the smallest deviation from the most rigid rules of polite- 
ness. When arrived at the appointed rendezvous, General Cad- 
wallader accompanied by General Dickinson of Pennsylvania, and 
General Conway by Colonel Morgan of Princeton, it was agreed 
by the seconds that on the word being given, the principals 
might fire in their own time, and at discretion, either by an off- 
hand shot, or by taking a deliberate aim. The parties having de- 
clared themselves ready, the word was given to proceed. Gen- 

Feb. 5 


eral Conway immediately raised his pistol and fired with great 
composure, but without effect. General Cadwallader was about 
to do so, when a sudden gust of wind occurring, he kept his pistol 
down and remained tranquil. ' Why do you not fire, General 
Cadwallader?' exclaimed Conway. 'Because,' replied General 
Cadwallader, ' we came not here to trifle. Let the gale pass and 
I shall act my part.' ' You shall have a fair chance of performing 
it well,' rejoined Conway, and immediately presented a full front. 
General Cadwallader fired, and his ball entering the mouth of his 
antagonist, he fell directly forward on his face. Colonel Morgan, 
running to his assistance, found the blood spouting from behind 
his neck, and lifting up the club of his hair, saw the ball drop from 
it. It had passed through his head, greatly to the derangement 
of his tongue and teeth, but did not inflict a mortal wound. As 
soon as the blood was sufficiently washed away to allow him 
to speak, General Conway, turning to his opponent, said, good- 
humoredly, ' You fire, general, with much deliberation, and cer- 
tainly with a great deal of effect.' The parties then retired free 
from all resentment." 

Early in February, there arrived in camp at Valley Forge, 
Baron Steuben, a veteran of the Seven Years War under Fred- 
erick the Great. His advent was hailed with enthusiasm. The 
raw militia troops presented a sorry appearance to this able dis- 
ciplinarian, accustomed to the exact order of the Prussian army ; 
but he had sense to see what was needed, and to adapt his methods 
to the peculiar condition of the country. Soon the whole army 
was under drill, Steuben personally supervising every detail, even 
to the examination of each soldier's musket and accoutrements. 
His ignorance of the language was a sore worry and embarrass- 
ment to him, especially when he sought to explain any difficult 
manoeuvre to his raw learners. " The men blundered in their 
exercise ; the baron blundered in his English ; his French and 
German were of no avail ; he lost his temper, which was rather 
warm ; swore in all three languages at once, which made the 
matter worse," and was in an agony of despair until a New York 
officer, who spoke French, stepped forward and offered his ser- 
vices as interpreter. " Had I seen an angel from heaven," records 
the relieved Prussian, " I could not have been more rejoiced." 
Under his skillful discipline, the army, officers as well as men, 
soon showed marked signs of improvement. 

Baron Steuben had brought over with him a superior French 


cook to serve in the camp. This personage was horrified to find 
no utensils or conveniences for preparing the choice dishes on 
which he longed to show his skill. He applied to one of the men 
for information. " We cook our meat," was the reply, " by hang- 
ing it up by a string, and turning it before a good fire till suffi- 
ciently roasted." The poor cook, appalled at such a state of 
affairs, received the daily rations of beef and bread with the hope- 
less air of a martyr. He loved his master, and, with many shrugs 
and sighs and some oaths, tried to accommodate himself to the 
trying situation ; but at last his patience was exhausted, and he 
sought the baron's presence. " Under happier circumstances, 
mon General," he said, " it would be my ambition to serve you ; 
but here I have no chance to show my talents, and my honor 
obliges me to spare you my expense, since your wagoner is just as 
able to turn the string as I am." Baron Steuben afterward told 
this story with great effect to a company which expressed some 
surprise at the resignation of Robert Morris as government finan- 
cier. " Believe me, gentlemen," said the baron, " the treasury of 
America is just as empty as was my kitchen at Valley Forge; and 
Mr. Morris wisely retires, thinking it of very little consequence who 
turns the string." 

On March 2d, General Greene was appointed Quartermaster- 
General. He accepted the position for a year without compensa- 
tion. His efficient measures soon changed the condition of affairs. 
Provisions began to appear in camp. Even " Grim-visaged War," 
when well fed, wore a smile. Ladies, too, lent their charming 
presence. The little parlor of Mrs. Greene, who spoke French, 
quickly became a favorite resort for foreign officers, where her 
wit and graceful tact made her a reigning queen. Mrs. Washing- 
ton also came to spend the winter, and brighten the anxious life 
of her husband. At the little soirees "there was* tea or coffee, 
and pleasant conversation always, and music often ; no one who 
had a good voice being allowed to refuse a song." The courtly 
Morris and the brilliant Reed were there ; and Charles Carroll, 
who was to outlive them nearly all ; and Knox, whom Greene 
loved as a brother ; the loved and trusted Lafayette ; the gener- 
ous Steuben; and the stately De Kalb, who, as the soldier of 
Louis XV., had served against Steuben and his royal master 
Frederick, in the Seven Years War ; the dignified Sullivan and 
the gallant " Mad Anthony " Wayne ; and a host of others who 
forgot for a while the horrors and hardships of a soldier's life in 

May 2-20,-1 
1778. J 




the delightful intercourse of friendship. Gates was transferred to 
the northern department again, and made subject to Washing- 
ton's orders. 

The capture of Burgoyne giving confidence to France, and the 
queen, Marie Antoinette, being our hearty ally, Louis XVI. was 
finally persuaded to acknowledge the 
independence of the United States 
and to make common cause with the 
Americans. May 2d, a messenger ar- 
rived in this country with the glad 
news. Four days after, there was a 
fete at Valley Forge, and a salute was 
fired in honor of Louis XVI. The 
disaster to Burgoyne, and the French 
Alliance, produced a great effect in 
England. There was a loud cry to 
put an end to the useless contest. 
The minority in parliament, op- 
posed to the government, again raised its warning voice. Fox 
wished to have the colonies declared free at once. Lord North's 

" Conciliatory Bills," as they were 
termed, were readily passed. 
These authorized the appoint- 
ment of commissioners to treat 
for peace with the government of 
the United Colonies. They could 
not grant independence, however, 
and that alone would satisfy the 
"rebels"; and so nothing came 
of the attempt at a reconciliation. 
General Howe's military career in the United States had not 
proved a success. He now resigned. The close of his inglorious 
residence in Philadelphia was celebrated by a famous pageant or 
mischianza, a sort of medley of tournament and regatta. Its 
splendor and mock heroics were the theme of merriment and 
wonder in the staid Quaker city for many a day. 

Just after this festival, Howe received news that Lafayette, 
with a large force, had taken post at Barren Hills, twelve miles 
nearer Philadelphia than Valley Forge, to watch the British army 
more closely. To cut off this detachment would shed a parting 
gleam of glory over his American career. He sent out General 



Grant by night with a picked body of men, while he followed 
with the main force. Lafayette was nearly taken ; but, by a skill- 
ful manoeuvre, he seized the only ford not guarded by the enemy, 
made a feint of attacking Grant, and while that general was get- 
ting ready for battle, the brave young Frenchman was on his way 
to Washington. Howe came back weary and disappointed from 
his bootless expedition. 

Clinton, who succeeded Howe, received orders to evacuate 
Philadelphia and to concentrate his forces at New York. As the 
commissioners, who had been sent over, as we have seen, to 
restore the old condition of affairs, landed in Philadelphia, they 
found the flight already begun. Sad was the fate of the aban- 
doned tories. " The winter's revelry was over ; honors and 
offices turned suddenly to bitterness and ashes, and papers of 
protection were only a peril." Three thousand houseless fugi- 
tives, carrying all they could save from the wreck, followed the 
army. Washington rapidly pursued the British across New 
Jersey. General Charles Lee held the advance. He had orders 
to attack the enemy ; instead, he grossly neglected his duty, even 
if he did not treacherously lead his troops into peril. 

It was a hot, sultry Sunday morning, June 28th. Washington, 
sitting on his horse near the Freehold meeting-house, west of 
Monmouth, was planning for the battle now just beginning, as 
he thought from the few dropping shots in the distance. Sud- 
denly he was startled by the news that the Americans were 
falling back. Spurring forward, he found the advance-guard in 
full flight before an overwhelming force. Riding up to Lee, he 
demanded, " Whence arises this disorder and confusion ? " Lee 
could only stammer "Sir — sir." Not. a minute could be lost. 
The genius of Washington never shone out more fully than now. 
Rallying the fugitives and judiciously posting a battery, he 
checked the pursuit upon a narrow causeway traversing a deep 
morass. A new line of battle was formed back of the swamp, 
General Stirling commanding the left, Greene the right, and 
Washington the centre. Wayne was posted in advance, under 
the protection of an orchard and a battery on Comb's Hill. The 
British attacking the left and right were several times repulsed. 
Finally Monckton advanced upon Wayne at the head of the 
English grenadiers. So perfect was their discipline and so accu- 
rately did they march, that it is said that a single ball striking in 
line with a platoon disarmed every man. As they came close to 

June 28,1 
1778. J 



the American position, their leader waved his sword for the 
charge. Wayne at the same moment gave the order to fire. Every 
British officer fell. The men fought desperately over Monckton's 
body ; but the whole line finally gave way, and the patriots took 
possession of the hotly-contested field. Washington was prepar- 
ing in turn to attack the enemy, when night closed the struggle. 
Under cover of the darkness, Clinton withdrew his men. The 
American loss was about two hundred and thirty ; the English 


lost over four hundred, and eight hundred more deserted their 
colors before they reached New York. Many of the troops on 
both sides, it is said, fell from the intense heat (ninety-six degrees 
in the shade) without a wound. 

During the day an artillery man was shot at his post. His 
wife, Mary Pitcher — a " red-haired, freckled-faced young Irish- 
woman," who was already distinguished for having fired the last 
gun at Fort Clinton — while bringing water to her husband from a 
spring, saw him fall and heard the commander order the piece to 
be removed from the field. Instantly dropping the pail, she 
hastened to the cannon, seized the rammer, and with great skill 
and courage performed her husband's duty. The soldiers gave 
her the nickname of Captain Molly. On the day after the battle, 
she was presented to Washington, and received a sergeant's com- 


mission with half-pay through life. Her bravery made her a 
great favorite among the French officers, and she would some- 
times pass along the lines holding out her cocked-hat, which they 
would nearly fill with crown pieces. 

Lee, after Washington's rebuke, did nothing except to sit idly 
in the rear and declaim upon the madness of the attempt to fight 
the enemy. The next day he wrote to the general demanding 
an apology. Washington having replied in a dignified manner, 
Lee returned a most insulting letter, in which he grandiloquently 
expressed a hope that " temporary power of office and the tinsel 
dignity attending it would not be able, by the mists they could 
raise, to obfuscate the bright rays of truth." He was court-mar- 
tialled and suspended for a year. Later, for obtaining money 
from British officers, and for an insulting letter to Congress, he 
was dismissed from the service. 

Washington moved his army to the North River. In August, 
he thus wrote from White Plains : " After two years manoeuvring 
and the strangest vicissitudes, both armies are brought back to 
the very point they set out from, and the offending party at the 
beginning is now reduced to the use of the spade and pickaxe for 
defence. The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all 
this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and 
more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge 
his obligations." 

Congress now returned to Philadelphia. On the 15th of 
November, 1777, it had agreed upon articles of confederation for 
the closer union of the several States and the more perfect har- 
mony of their action. These had been accepted by eight of the 
States. The others were now called upon to " conclude the 
glorious compact." All agreed except Maryland, which refused 
on the plea that the public lands northwest of the Ohio should be 
the common property of the States. So the subject was post- 
poned, and the general government dragged along its feeble exist- 
ence, having, indeed, the right to advise and appoint, but being 
destitute of any power to demand or enforce. It was the era of 
State rights. 

The French fleet under Count d'Estaing having arrived off 
the coast, a combined land and naval expedition was planned to 
recover Rhode Island. Sullivan was placed in charge of the 
troops. Washington spared two brigades from his weakened 
ranks. New England in twenty days increased his forces to ten 


thousand men. On the 29th of July, the French entered Narra- 
gansett Bay. Some days after, Howe arrived off the harbor with 
the English fleet. D'Estaing went out to meet him. A terrible 
storm came on, which so shattered both fleets that they were 
compelled to put back for repairs — the English to New York and 
the French to Boston. General Sullivan, though deserted, was 
loath to leave. Just as he began his retreat, the English at- 
tempted to cut off his right wing. Greene, by a brilliant attack, 
drove back the enemy, and secured the escape of the army just 
in time to avoid Clinton, who came up from New York with rein- 
forcements for the British. The French gave no further aid dur- 
ing the year. 

The beautiful Valley of Wyoming, famed in history and song, 
was settled mainly from Connecticut. The charter of that 
colony was older than that of Pennsylvania, and gave it a strip 
of land extending from sea to sea. Differences naturally arose 
with the Pennsylvania government. These were finally settled 
by an appeal to the king, who decided in favor of Connecticut. 
The colony was therefore created as the town of Westmoreland, 
and attached to Litchfield county. These local disputes faded 
out only in the more absorbing topics of the Revolution. This 
valley, smiling in peace and plenty, now lay open to attack from 
the Six Nations, who bitterly remembered the slaughter of their 
braves at Oriskany and panted for revenge. The able-bodied 
men were in the Continental regiments, and though they urged 
the defenceless condition of their wives and children, Congress 
took little or no action in their behalf. The women and the old 
men plowed, sowed, reaped, and made gunpowder for the little 
garrison in their forts, obtaining the nitre by leaching the soil 
under the floors of their houses. 

Early in the summer a force of five or six hundred men, 
consisting of Butler's Rangers, Johnson's Royal Greens, and a 
body of Indians, principally Senecas, under a celebrated chief 
named Giengwatah, or The-one-who-goes-in-the-smoke, dropped 
down the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers in canoes, and on July 
1 st appeared in the Wyoming Valley. All was dismay. Those who 
could, fled to their forts. Two of their strongholds were quickly 
captured. Colonel Zebulon Butler of the Continental army, who 
happened to be at home, took command of the forlorn hope of 
three hundred soldiers — old men and boys — all that could be 
mustered for the defence of their homes. With these he marched 


out to meet the enemy. He found them near Wintermoot's 
Fort, near the site of the present village of Troy, ready to meet 
him. Outnumbered from the first, the Americans could have 
little hope. They held their ground bravely, however, for half 
an hour, when, their left being outflanked by an Indian ambush, 
Colonel Denison, in command at that point, gave the order to fall 
back. He was misunderstood, and the fatal word " retreat " was 
passed down the lines. The Indians sprang from their coverts, 
and a terrible massacre ensued. Few of the patriots escaped. 
Some were slain on the banks of the river ; some were toma- 
hawked among the bushes ; some fled to an island and were hunted 
to death. The Senecas took two hundred and twenty-five scalps. 
No mercy was shown. One tory brutally murdered his own 
brother while crying for quarter. Lieutenant Shoemaker, " whom 
to know was to love," was treacherously tomahawked by Win- 
decker, a man who had often received his generous bounty. 

That night, tories and Indians held high carnival. Captain 
Bidlack was thrown on the burning embers of the fort and 
held down with pitchforks till he expired. Sixteen prisoners 
were arranged around a large stone, still known as Queen 
Esther's rock. The savages held them while a Seneca half- 
breed by that name walked slowly round the circle, singing a 
death-song and striking them one by one, alternately with her 
hatchet and mallet. Two of the captives, breaking away, escaped 
to the bushes under a shower of balls. The next day, the forts 
surrendered. Though lives were spared thereafter, robbery and 
arson ran riot. Butler could not restrain his savage allies. The 
inhabitants fled from the scene of terror. The swamp through 
which they made their way is remembered to this day as the 
Shades of Death. Children were born and buried in this terrible 
flight. Many were lost in the wilderness and perished miserably. 
The fainting survivors straggled into the settlements on the other 
side of the mountains, famine-stricken and desolate. Meantime 
the savages pillaged and burned their deserted houses. Decked 
in their booty, they at last withdrew. " The appearance of the 
retiring enemy," says Lossing, " was extremely ludicrous, aside 
from the melancholy savagism that was presented. Many 
squaws accompanied the invaders, and these brought up the rear. 
Some had belts around their waists, made of scalps stretched 
on small hoops ; some had on from four to six dresses of chintz 
or silk, one over the other ; and others, mounted on stolen horses, 

Se | P 778-9. n "] OPERATIONS IN THE WEST. 265 

and seated ' not sidewise, but otherwise,' had on their heads four 
or five bonnets, one within another." 

Clinton, after his bootless expedition to Newport, returned to 
New York, detaching', however, Grey, of Paoli massacre mem- 
ory, to ravage the New England coast. New Bedford, Fair 
Haven, and Martha's Vineyard were laid waste. In September, 
Cornwallis led a foray into New Jersey, during which " No-flint 
Grey " surprised Baylor's light-horse while they were quietly 
resting- in some barns in Old Tappan. Cries for mercy fell on 
deaf ears. Eleven of the dragoons were butchered, and twenty- 
five desperately mangled by bayonet thrusts, some receiving as 
many as sixteen wounds. At the same time, Captain Ferguson 
emulated his rival in the bayonet exercise by destroying the ship- 
ping in Little Egg Harbor, and thence scouring the adjacent 
country, burning the houses of those who were pointed out as 
patriots by the tories who accompanied the expedition. Count 
Pulaski had been sent out with his legion to check these preda- 
tory incursions. Ferguson, going up the river in boats during 
the night of the 15th of October, noiselessly surrounded the 
house in which Pulaski's infantry was quartered. " It being a 
night attack," wrote the captain afterward in his report, " little 
quarter could be given, so there were only five prisoners." 

The western part of Virginia and Kentucky would have suf- 
fered equally with Wyoming Valley had it not been for the energy 
and vigilance of Colonel Clark. Hamilton, the British general at 
Detroit, was busy in organizing parties of savages for forays upon 
the defenceless frontier settlement. He offered rewards for scalps, 
not for prisoners, and was known as the " hair-buying general." 
Clark, by a bold dash, seized Kaskaskia, and the county of Illinois 
became a part of Virginia. Hamilton, thereupon invading the 
country, summoned the post of Vincennes to surrender. Captain 
Helm had but one man as garrison, but maintained a bold front, 
and standing with lighted match over a cannon, he deceived the 
enemy and secured the honors of war. Hamilton was now more 
active than ever in preparing for bloody work. The ensuing win- 
ter, Clark, whose situation looked desperate, finding that Hamil- 
ton had sent off most of his men on predatory excursions, sud- 
denly set out in January with one hundred and thirty bold men 
to recapture Vincennes. The river was high, and in crossing the 
" drowned lands " of the Wabash they had to wade for miles with 
the icy water breast high. But he resolutely kept on, and laid 


siege to the fort, which, with its garrison and governor, fell into 
his hands. 

The ioth of November saw the terrible scenes of Wyoming 
repeated in Cherry Valley, New York. A body of tories, regulars 
and Indians, under Walter Butler, son of John Butler, and Brandt, 
the Mohawk chief, crept into this settlement under cover of the 
early morning mist. The fort, garrisoned by Continental troops, 
was too strong to be carried, but over thirty of the inhabitants — 
men, women and children — were murdered, and all the houses 
fired. Brandt showed mercy at times, but the tories, " more 
savage than the savages," knew no pity. Mr. Wells was cut 
down while at prayer. A mother and her innocent babe were 
slain in bed together. After the marauders had gone away with 
their booty, the survivors timidly stole back to find the mangled 
bodies of fathers, mothers, wives, husbands and children amid the 
burning timbers of their homes. 

Brandt afterward pushed his incursions into Orange county. 
Here, we are told, one day the savages came to a school-house 
which was filled with young children. They took the school- 
master into the woods and killed him. They then clove the skulls 
of several of the boys with their tomahawks ; but the little girls, 
who stood looking on horror-struck, and waiting for instant 
death, were spared. A tall savage — it was Brandt — dashed a 
mark of black paint upon their aprons, and when the other sav- 
ages saw it they left them unharmed. Swift as an inspiration, the 
little girls resolved to save their brothers. They flung over them 
their aprons, and when the next Indians passed by, they were 
spared for the mark they bore. 

The Six Nations had not taken the field until 1777 at the 
battle of Oriskany. Their determination to bear arms against 
the colonists, with whom they had fought so bravely during the 
French and Indian war, was due to the influence of the Johnsons. 
Sir William had been knighted for the victory of Lake George. 
After the war, he received a tract of one hundred thousand acres 
north of the Mohawk, long known as " Kingsland." In 1764, he 
built Johnson Hall, near Johnstown, about twenty -five miles west 
of Schenectady. 

Here he lived with the splendor of an old feudal baron, and 
dispensed a lavish hospitality. His influence over the Indians 
was almost unbounded. Many anecdotes are told of his shrewd- 
ness in dealing with them. Allen relates that on his receiving 


from England some fine laced clothes, the Mohawk chief, Hen- 
drick, desiring to equal the baronet in the splendor of his apparel, 
with a demure face pretended to have dreamed that Sir William 
had presented him with a suit of the decorated garments. As the 
solemn hint could not be mistaken or avoided, the Indian mon- 
arch was gratified, and went away highly pleased with the success 
of his device. But, alas for Hendrick's short-sighted sagacity, in 
a few days, Sir William, in turn, had a dream, to the effect that 
the chief had given him several thousand acres of land. " The 
land is yours," said Hendrick ; " but now, Sir William, I never 
dream with you again ; you dream too hard for me." 

When the difficulties arose with England, the contest in Sir 
William's mind between his love of liberty and his loyalty to the 
king brought on a fit of apoplexy, of which he died. His son and 
heir, Sir John Johnson, and his sons-in-law, Colonel Guy Johnson 
and Colonel Claus, felt no reluctance in supporting the royal 
cause. They at first fortified their stone mansions in the Mohawk 
Valley, armed their Scotch tenants, and, with their adherents, the 
Butlers of Tryon county, and Brandt, the great Mohawk sachem, 
prepared for defence. Finally they all fled to Canada. The Six 
Nations declared for the crown. Sir John raised a body of tories, 
known as the Royal Greens. Their names were henceforth asso- 
ciated with deeds of crime and bloodshed, in which the tories far 
surpassed their Indian allies. Wyoming and Cherry Valleys 
were only illustrations on a large scale of minor massacres which 
kept in continued dread the entire frontier to the very suburbs 
of Albany. 

The peace commissioners returning to England after their 
unsuccessful mission to the United States, were fierce in their 
denunciations. " No quarter," exclaimed one of their number, 
" ought to be shown to their Congress. If the infernals could be 
let loose on them, I should approve the measure." The govern- 
ment did not have it all its own way, however. The Bishop of 
Peterborough called attention to the significant fact that in the 
army-appropriation was an item for "scalping-knives" ; and many 
followed him denouncing the use of such instruments of war. 

The English, discouraged by their repeated failures in the 
Eastern and Middle States, now decided to transfer their forces to 
the South. Henceforth, the Revolutionary struggle was mainly 
confined to that field. In combination with various minor move- 
ments, three thousand men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, 


were sent from New York, and on December 23d appeared off 
Tybee Island. Soon after, the fleet passed the bar and the troops 
landed near Five-fathom Hole. General Howe, with his little 
army of militia, not a third as large as that of the enemy, resolved 
to fight for the defence of Savannah. He accordingly took a 
strong position at the head of a causeway, with a swamp on one 
side and rice-fields on the other. The British, having driven his 
advance from Brewton's Hill, manoeuvred as if to assault in front. 
Meanwhile, guided by a negro named Quamino Dolly, Sir James 
Baird and a party passed through a by-path in the swamp and 
turned the American position. The patriots, attacked at once in 
front and rear, soon gave way in despair. Some were drowned 
in the swamp, and many were captured. The pursuers, chasing 
the refugees through the town, bayoneted several unarmed citi- 
zens whom they found on the streets. So the English captured 
Savannah, the capital of Georgia, including all its extensive stores, 
with a total loss of only twenty-four killed and wounded. The 
captives, refusing to enlist in the British army, were hurried 
into the prison-ships to speedily die of disease. Protection was 
offered to those of the inhabitants who would return to their 
allegiance. Numbers flocked to the British standard, while many 
patriots fled to the uplands and to Carolina. 

After his gallant exploit at Charleston, Sergeant Jasper re- 
ceived from Colonel Moultrie a roving commission entitling him 
to form a scouting command. His spies often proved of great 
service to the American army. At one time, he remained in 
Savannah, after its capture by the British, several days, collect- 
ing valuable information concerning the English forces and their 
position. Some of his adventures were full of romance. One, 
especially, has become historical. 

Near Ebenezer, he met a Mrs. Jones, whose story awakened 
his sympathies. Her husband had taken the oath of allegiance to 
the British government, but afterward joined the American 
army. Having been captured, he was now, with several compan- 
ions, en route to Savannah, to be tried and probably hanged. Ser- 
geant Jasper and his friend Newton determined to rescue the 
prisoners. Thinking that the party would stop to drink at a 
pleasant spring about two miles out of Savannah, the two patriots 
went ahead, and, hiding themselves in the bushes near by, awaited 
the turn of affairs. Upon reaching the point, the guard stacked 
arms, leaving two of their number in charge of the prisoners. 




Taking advantage of a moment when the sentinels' backs were 
turned, Jasper and Newton sprang from their covert, seized the 
guns, shot the two armed soldiers, and called upon the rest to 
surrender. They had no resource but to yield. The irons were 
knocked off the prisoners and placed on the late guard. The 
whole party then, redeemed friends and captive soldiers, marched 
into the American camp at Purysburg. 

The next year, when Jasper lay dying before the fortifications 
of Savannah, his last words were, " Tell Jones, his wife and son, 
that the remembrance of the battle I fought for them brought a 
secret joy to my heart when it was about to stop its motion for- 
ever." The spring, named after Jasper, is now neatly walled in, 
and is the resort of hundreds of visitors. 


(From a Painting by Cat tin.) 




ITH the opening of the year the 
English vigorously pushed their 
success at the South. General 
Prevost, commanding the royal 
forces in Florida, marched across 
the wilderness, captured Sun- 
bury, the only fort in Georgia 
occupied by the Americans, 
reached Savannah, and assumed 
command. Campbell was sent 
to take possession of Augusta. 
The whole State lay at his mercy. 
Sir James Wright was reinstated 
governor, and all things were restored as in the good old times 
before the war. England could once more boast of a royal pro- 
vince among her former colonies. The conquest of South Caro- 
lina now seemed imminent. Meanwhile, Major-General Lincoln 
had arrived to take command of the patriot troops in the southern 
department. His little force of eleven hundred men was en- 
camped on the Savannah, near Purysburg. Port Royal being 
taken by a British detachment which landed from their ships, 
Moultrie was sent to drive them out. Rallying some militia to 
his standard, he accomplished the task in gallant style. 

A large body of North Carolina royalists having started to 
join Prevost at Augusta, Colonel Pickens, with a party of citizens 
from Ninety-Six, fell upon them at Kettle Creek as they were 
plundering about the country, and put them to rout. Seventy of 
the prisoners were tried by jury and convicted of treason. Five 
of the most influential were executed. This mode of treating pris- 
oners of war was a dangerous precedent, and served as an excuse 
to the British for similar usage on a more extended scale. 


Lincoln, being reinforced, had hopes of recovering Northern 
Georgia. He accordingly detached General Ashe with fifteen 
hundred men to take post opposite Augusta. At his coming, the 
British evacuated the town. Ashe thereupon crossed the river, 
and followed on nearly to Brier Creek, half way to Savannah. 
He had apparently " never heard of military discipline and vigi- 
lance." On the 3d of March, Prevost surprised his position. The 
militia threw away their guns and fled at the first fire. The Con- 
tinentals, sixty strong, fought bravely, but uselessly. Of the 
whole detachment, only four hundred and fifty, by wading the 
swamp and swimming the river, rejoined Lincoln in camp. 

Leaving Moultrie with one thousand militia to guard the pas- 
sage of the Savannah, Lincoln now crossed the river and marched 
up toward Augusta, hoping to protect the legislature of Geor- 
gia, then about to convene. Prevost also immediately crossed, 
and, driving Moultrie before him, moved towards Charleston. 
He was accompanied by Indians, and still more relentless tory 
allies. It was a grand marauding time. Every house belonging 
to a whig was robbed of money, jewelry, and even furniture. 
Windows, mirrors, and crockery were wantonly broken. Ani- 
mals which could not be driven off, were shot. Tombs were 
desecrated. Gardens were trampled underfoot. The appear- 
ance of this banditti before Charleston, May nth, aroused the 
deepest anxiety. Had Prevost arrived two days earlier he might 
have taken the city at once. Fortifications had been hastily 
thrown up ; troops had arrived, and there was now a chance of 
defence. The council, however, parleyed with the enemy, sure 
at least of gaining time. At this juncture South Carolina felt 
itself alone. Washington had been able to send South but few 
men. Congress had done nothing except to commend the arm- 
ing of the slaves — a proposition indignantly rejected by the Caro- 

Rutledge, against the bitter opposition of such men as 
Laurens, Gadsden, Ferguson, and Edwards, proposed that South 
Carolina should remain neutral during the rest of the war. Pre- 
vost declined the offer. " Then we will fight it out," exclaimed 
Moultrie, and forthwith waved the flag from the city gate as a 
signal that debate was over. But Prevost had learned that Lin- 
coln was coming by forced marches, and so, after gathering what 
plunder he could in the neighborhood, he retired to St. John's 
Island. Lincoln, on his arrival, prepared an attack on the re- 




doubts which protected the ferry across the Stono River to the 
island. He was repulsed. Soon after, Prevost, unperceived, 
escaped by interior navigation to Georgia, leaving Lieutenant- 
Colonel Maitland with a garrison 
at Beaufort. Summer heats, like 
winter colds at the North, now 
prevented further operations. 

The outrages committed by 
Prevost's men 
were long re- 
membered. A 
large body took 

possession ot \ at 7?^ ->• ^"X ? \ the house and 

plantation of 
Mr. Robert 
Gibbes on the 
Stono River. 
This gentle- 
man had an 
aged and in- 
firm brother, 
Mr. John Gib- 
bes, who was 
then on a visit 
to him from 
his beautiful 
home near 
where his 
grounds were 
laid out with 
exquisite taste 
and at a great 
expense. A 
Major Sheri- 
dan, arriving 

at Mr. Robert Gibbes's from the army on the Neck, was asked 
by an officer in the presence of the brothers, "What news? 
Shall we take the city ? " "I fear not," replied Sheridan, " but 
we have made glorious havoc of the property round about. 
I witnessed yesterday the destruction of an elegant establish- 

Mar. 26, 


ment belonging to an arch-rebel, who, luckily for himself, was 
absent. You would have been delighted to see how quickly 
the pine-apples were shared among our men, and how rapidly 
his trees and ornamental shrubs were leveled with the dust." 
Mr. John Gibbes, who recognized his own place in this de- 
scription, could not restrain his indignation, and, fearless of 
consequences, exclaimed, " I hope that the Almighty will cause 
the arm of the scoundrel who struck the first blow to wither to 
the shoulder." Sheridan uttered a threatening retort, but his 
commanding officer, who divined the truth, advised him for his 
own credit to be silent. Mr. Gibbes so seriously felt the outrage 
and the loss that he retired to his bed and never rose again. Not 
long afterward the whole family was ordered to leave, fire having 
been opened upon the house and neighboring encampment from 
some Charleston galleys, which had quietly ascended the river. 
It was midnight, dark and rainy. Mr. Gibbes, who was ill, 
started out with his large household for an adjoining plantation. 
When out of reach of the pelting shot, they halted for a moment 
to see if all were present. To their dismay, they found that one 
little boy — a distant relative — had been left behind. The servants 
were entreated to return for him, but utterly refused. Miss 
Mary Anna Gibbes, a young girl of thirteen, resolutely under- 
took the mission, ran the long mile through the rain and darkness, 
obtained, by many tears and pleadings, an admission to the house, 
secured the babe, and carried him in her arms through a storm 
of grape and round shot, which frequently covered her person 
with dirt as they struck the ground at her side, safe to the retreat 
of her family. The boy thus saved became the gallant Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Fenwick, distinguished in the war of 181 2. 

Washington's army passed the winter in a line of positions 
extending from the Highlands to the Delaware. Clinton's in- 
structions permitted only a series of predatory excursions, and 
little was attempted on either side. Signals were devised to give 
warning when the British parties left New York. On Battle Hill, 
sentinels were placed, with orders by day to fire a big gun 
familiarly called the " Old Sow," and at night to kindle a beacon. 
These signals, repeated from hill to hill, quickly spread the alarm 
through the country. 

One day in March, General Putnam, while shaving at his 
headquarters at Horse Neck, saw in his mirror the reflection of a 
body of British coming up the road. Changing his razor for a 


sword, he darted out, mounted his horse, and gathered his men 
upon a hill near by to resist their advance. The overwhelming 
forces of the enemy at length compelled him to flee. Ordering his 
troops to scatter into a neighboring swamp, he spurred his own 
horse over a precipice and descended a zigzag path, where the 
British dragoons did not dare to follow. Tryon, who was in 
command of the English, plundered the neighboring people, 
destroyed the salt works, and then retreated to King's Bridge. 
But the irrepressible Putnam was after him, and on the way 
recovered most of the booty. 

During Prevost's plundering raid in South Carolina, General 
Matthews was sent from New York to Virginia on a similar expe- 
dition. He cast anchor in Hampton Roads May 9th. Predatory 
parties ascended the James and the Elizabeth Rivers. Ports- 
mouth and Norfolk — the latter just recovering from its destruc- 
tion by Dunmore — was seized, and the inhabitants brutally 
maltreated. One hundred and thirty vessels were captured. 
Plantations were pillaged and the buildings fired. Every house 
save one in Suffolk county was burned. Matthews returned to 
New York with a rich booty, consisting in part of three thousand 
hogsheads of tobacco. He had inflicted a damage of two million 
dollars, without advancing the royal cause in any sense. 

On the return of this expedition, Clinton ascended the Hud- 
son and captured the works at Stony Point and Verplanck's 
Point, which guarded King's Ferry. The American army had 
now no means of communication between New England and the 
Middle States below the Highlands. 

Connecticut was next to feel the heavy hand of the invader. 
On the evening of the 4th of July, the inhabitants of New Haven 
were startled by the appearance of a fleet in the bay. Early the 
next morning, troops were rapidly landed. Tryon was again out 
with his royalists and Hessians on their favorite work. They 
were soon busy at plunder. The militia, however, rallied and 
drove off the marauding bands both here and at East Haven. Dr« 
Daggett, ex-president of Yale College, was barbarously mal- 
treated while resisting the advance of the enemy. When threat- 
eningly asked if he " would take up arms again," he bravely 
answered, " I rather think I shall if I get an opportunity." Fair- 
field, Norwalk, and Greenwich were next visited, pillaged, and 
burned. Tryon boasted of his clemency in sparing a single 
house. Unarmed men were brutally murdered. Females were 

July I6,t 
1779. J 



insulted. For day^ afterward, women, half frantic with grief and 
fear, were found wandering through the neighboring woods. 
The expedition was preparing to make a descent on New London 
when it was recalled by General Wayne's famous exploit at 
Stony Point. 

Washington looked with an envious eye on the British pos- 
session of Stony Point, and had resolved upon its recapture. 
Upon making known his wishes to Wayne, that general re- 
plied, " I will storm h — 1 if you will only lay the plan." The 


fort was on an eminence, washed on three sides by the river, the 
fourth being protected by a marsh that was overflowed at flood- 
tide. The only hope lay in a surprise. Twelve hundred men 
were selected, and marched through swamps until within a mile 
and a half of the enemy, where they were concealed. The coun- 
tersign, which, curiously enough, was " The fort is ours," was 
obtained of a negro who was in the habit of selling strawberries 
at the fort. He guided the troops in the darkness to the causeway 
leading over the flooded marsh around the foot of the hill. The 
unsuspicious sentinel, having received the countersign, was 
chatting with the negro, when he was suddenly seized and 
gagged by two soldiers dressed as farmers. Wayne's men 


passed over the causeway and reached the base of the hill undis- 
covered, where they seized the second sentinel in the same man- 
ner. Forming in two columns, with unloaded muskets and fixed 
bayonets, just after midnight they commenced the ascent of the 
steep and rugged slope. A forlorn hope of twenty men pre- 
ceded each to remove the abattis. They had nearly reached the 
picket before they were discovered. Fire was at once opened 
upon them. Wayne was wounded, but commanded his aids to 
carry him that he might die at the head of his column. The rush 
of his men was irresistible. An instant more, and a deafening 
shout told that the fort was won. Both columns reached the 
centre of the works at nearly the same time. The British lost in 
killed and prisoners six hundred and six men, and the Ameri- 
cans but ninety-eight. Even English authorities agree that the 
Americans did not take the life of a man except in fair fight. On 
account of the vicinity of the main army under Clinton, Washing- 
ton ordered the fort to be evacuated. The stores were all re- 
moved and the works razed to the ground. 

August 19th, Major Henry Lee rivaled this brilliant exploit 
of Wayne's by the capture of Paulus Hook, now Jersey City, in 
sight of New York, and almost in range of its guns. Reaching 
the neighborhood of the fort before daylight, his detachment was 
mistaken by the sentinel for a foraging party and allowed to pass. 
The Americans were inside the works before the garrison was 
fairly awake. Major Sutherland, the commander of the post, 
threw himself with sixty Hessians into a block-house and opened 
fire ; but Lee had no time for an assault, as alarm-guns began 
ilready to be heard. Collecting one hundred and fifty-nine pris- 
oners, he retired as rapidly as he had come. Lee received a gold 
medal from Congress for this feat. 

While everything under Washington's immediate eye was 
thus favorable, an expedition sent out by Massachusetts against 
the British at Fort Castine, on the Penobscot, proved a total and 
disgraceful failure. It consisted of nineteen vessels, carrying 
over three hundred guns, and twenty-four transports, bearing 
one thousand men. It reached its destination July 25th. Delays 
followed. Finally a British fleet dispersed the naval forces, when 
the land troops were glad to make their way home through the 
wilderness as best they could. 

The continued Indian and tory atrocities in the Wyoming and 
Mohawk valleys threatened to depopulate these fertile regions. 


It was now felt that such a punishment must be inflicted upon 
the Six Nations as would deter them from further incursions. 
General Sullivan accordingly organized for this purpose a force 
of about three thousand men. Late in August he moved north- 
ward from Wyoming, the artillery and stores being drawn up the 
Susquehanna in one hundred and fifty boats. At Tioga he was 
joined by General Clinton with one thousand New York troops. 
The latter had marched from Albany, up the Mohawk to Canajo- 
harie, and thence ascending Canajoharie Creek, had reached Ot- 
sego Lake. Finding the water of the outlet too low to float his 
bateaux, he built a dam across the stream, by which the lake was 
raised several feet. When the dam was cut, the boats glided 
easily down to Tioga upon the rushing water. The Indians fled 
in dismay at the sight of a flood in the midst of the summer 
drought, believing it a signal proof of the displeasure of the Great 

On the 26th, the combined forces ascended the Chemung, 
an Indian word for Big Horn. Sullivan carefully provided 
against the danger of a surprise. Large flanking parties were 
thrown on each side of the line of march, and strong guards were 
in front and rear. Reaching a place called Hog's Back, they found 
the Indians under Brandt, Corn-Planter, and Red Jacket, and the 
tories under Sir John Johnson and the Butlers, awaiting their ap- 
proach. They were about eight hundred in all, and occupied a 
strong position. Their left rested on the hill and their right on a 
ridge running parallel with the river. They had regular entrench- 
ments thrown up nearly half a mile in length, and were also 
protected by the pines and shrub-oaks covering the ground. 
The works were artfully concealed by green boughs planted in 
front. Sullivan at once ordered General Hand and the rifle 
corps to attack in front, while Generals Poor and Clinton, with 
their brigades, cleared the hill on the Indian left. This was done 
in fine style. The savages, leaping from tree to tree and rock 
to rock, though greatly alarmed by the fire of the artillery, dis- 
puted every inch ; while Brandt, animating his followers, ranged 
the field like a very demon. Night was coming on, and the 
assaulting columns seemed to falter for a moment. Then, as the 
legend says, there hovered above them, amid the smoke of the 
battle, the vision of a mother clasping her babe in her bosom and 
shielding it from an uplifted tomahawk. The troops instantly, 
as if by an inspiration, dashed forward. Poor and Clinton swept 


the hill at the point of the bayonet. Brandt, despairing, raised 
the shrill cry, " Oonah ! Oonah ! " and the whole body fled in con- 
fusion. The Americans, in spite of the desperation of the Iro- 
quois, lost only five or six men and fifty wounded. 

The Indians, satisfied that they could not resist this powerful 
force, gave up in despair. Sullivan, marching up the river about 
seven miles, came to an Indian village called Conewawah — an 
Iroquois term meaning a-head-on-a-pole — afterward the site of a 
settlement known as Newtown, and now Elmira. This he de- 
stroyed, and thence proceeded to Queen Catharine's Town, now 
Havana, near the head of Seneca Lake. 

The Senecas and the Cayugas had regularly-laid-out villages, 
and lived in framed houses, many of them painted and hav- 
ing chimneys. Their fields were large and fruitful, especially in 
the Genesee Valley, and were covered with orchards of apple, 
pear and peach trees. " At Wyoming, no mercy was shown but 
the hatchet ; here, none but the firebrand." The army marched 
resistlessly to and fro through the whole country from the Che- 
mung to the Genesee, destroying their waving fields of maize, 
ruining their orchards and burning their villages. The Christian 
emulated the savage in the barbarity of war. Kanadaseagea, now 
Geneva, the capital of the Senecas ; Schoyere, near Cayuga Lake ; 
Kanandaigua, a town at the head of the beautiful lake by the 
same name ; and Honeoye, were all destroyed without resistance. 

When the army entered the Valley of the Genesee, the In- 
dians, having hidden their women and children in the forest, were 
lying in wait on the flats toward the head of Connissius Lake ; but 
the vanguard of the invading force put them to flight. Approach- 
ing Little Beard's town, Lieutenant Boyd was sent forward with 
a party to reconnoitre. While on his return he fell into an am- 
bush prepared by Brandt and his warriors. Nearly all Boyd's 
men were killed ; he was taken and put to death with cruel tor- 
tures. Thence Sullivan spread his troops wide over the smiling 
valley, laying waste magnificent fields of grain, destroying forty 
towns — among them Genesee, the capital of the Six Nations — and 
leaving only a blackened waste of all that beautiful region. It was 
expected that he would push westward and destroy the English 
fort at Niagara, which was the very focus of Indian and British 
intrigue ; but he had moved so slowly that he was compelled to 
return without accomplishing this greatly desired result. Just 
before reaching the Chemung again, forage gave out, and Sulli- 

Oct. 9, 


van ordered several hundred horses to be killed. This equine 
Golgotha has since retained the name of Horse-Heads. 

The Six Nations were subdued for the moment ; but their 
ritter hatred was aroused, and they swore vengeance against 
Washington, whom they styled the Town-destroyer. Yet, singu- 
larly, their veneration for him was never lessened. According to 
their belief, no white man except Washington ever reached 
heaven. Their legends represent him as occupying a fort-like 
mansion at the gate of the happy hunting-grounds. He walks in 
full uniform to and fro, in " meditation, fancy free," and the faithful 
Indians see him, but always pass in respectful silence. 

On the first of September, the French fleet of twenty ships- 
of-the-line, under d'Estaing, appeared off the coast of Georgia. 
A combined attack upon Savannah was now arranged with Lin- 
coln. The militia of South Carolina turned out with alacrity, 
and Washington despatched several North Carolina regiments 
for this service. The combined forces, however, were not able to 
commence operations till the 23d, although the French had already 
landed and summoned Prevost to surrender. The British had 
thoroughly improved the delay, called in their forces, thrown up 
entrenchments, and were well prepared for defence. Two weeks 
of bombardment from the trenches and the shipping followed, 
without any marked result. D'Estaing became impatient. The 
autumnal gales were approaching ; his fleet lay off the open 
coast, and delays were full of peril. On October 8th it was de- 
cided that the next day should witness an assault. It was gal- 
lantly executed, but was a failure almost from the start. A col- 
umn under Count Dillon was to have fallen on the English rear ; 
but, becoming entangled in the swamp, it was beaten back by the 
enemy's guns without attempting an attack. The French and 
American columns reached the works in front under a heavy fire, 
the former planting a banner on the parapet. Lieutenants Bush 
and Hume, of the second South Carolina regiment, leaped to the 
top with the colors given to them at Fort Moultrie. Both officers 
were killed. Sergeant Jasper, springing to their help, fell mor- 
tally wounded. In his dying moments, he managed to creep 
away with the banner he had sworn to protect. Laurens him- 
self, struggling in the thickest of the fight, in despair at the 
retreat of his men, threw away his sword, and, stretching out his 
hands, it is said, " prayed for death." Pulaski, carrying a banner 
placed in his hands by the Moravian nuns, was struck down by a 


cannon-ball, at the head of his legion. D'Estaing was twice 
wounded. A dashing charge of grenadiers and marines from the 
city now drove the assailants back to their lines. The Americans 
had lost in this fruitless enterprise over four hundred, and the 
French about six hundred men, while the British had suffered but 
slightly. D'Estaing immediately sailed away. Lincoln retired 
to Charleston with what he could save of his army, and the 
militia scattered to their homes or took to the swamps. 

While the French-American army was thus unsuccessfully 
engaged in the siege of Savannah, Colonel White of Georgia 
achieved a feat which borders on the marvelous. Learning 
that Captain French and a party of British regulars, with five 
vessels, four of which were armed, one carrying fourteen guns, 
were on the Ogeechee, about twenty-five miles below the city, 
he determined to attempt their capture. He had only a captain 
and three soldiers. He lighted many fires in the woods, so 
as to give the appearance of a camp. To complete the strata- 
gem, he then, accompanied by his four companions, rode hither 
and thither, after the manner of a general and his staff, inspecting 
his lines and giving his orders. The English officer was next 
summoned to capitulate. Thinking himself about to be attacked 
by a great body of the enemy, French surrendered his detach- 
ment, ships, and crews (October ist). White now pretended 
that he must keep his men in the camp, in order to restrain their 
fury, and prevent an indiscriminate slaughter of the prisoners. 
He therefore delivered French and his party into the hands of 
three guides, who would conduct them to a place of safety. They 
had orders to move off as rapidly as possible. Meanwhile, 
White, who had stayed behind to " bring up the main body," 
hastened into the country with his remaining soldier, quickly 
collected a force of militia, and finally overtook his captives, who 
were proceeding along comfortably under the care of his guides, 
and were full of thankfulness for his merciful consideration. 

No American successes caused more annoyance to the British 
than those of the navy. In 1775, Washington sent out several 
vessels to cruise along the New England coast as privateers. In 
the same year Congress established a naval department. Thir- 
teen ships were ordered to be fitted out and two battalions of 
seamen enlisted. So anxious was the American government, that 
Washington was forced to divide his scanty store of supplies with 
the newly-fledged fleet. Swift-sailing vessels, manned by bold 

Sept. 23,n 
1779. J 



seamen, soon infested every avenue of commerce. Within three 
years they captured five hundred ships. They even cruised 
among the British Isles, and, entering the harbors, seized and 
burned ships lying at English wharves. 

Paul Jones was among the most famous of these naval heroes. 
In six weeks he is said to have taken sixteen prizes. While 
cruising off England, Septem- 
ber, 1779, in the forty -gun ship 
Bon Homme Richard, named 
in honor of the Poor Richard 
of Franklin's Almanac, he came 
across the Serapis, carrying forty- 
four guns. Jones at once laid 
his vessel alongside. Twice the 
ships fell afoul each other. The 


first time, the Serapis hailed the Richard, asking if she had 
" struck her colors." " I have not yet begun to fight," was Jones's 
reply. The second time, with his own hands he aided in lashing 
the vessels together. For two hours longer the crews fought 
hand to hand, with musket, pike, and cutlass. The muzzles of the 



rSept. 23, 
L 1779. 

guns touched, and the gunners, in working their pieces, often 
thrust their ramrods into the port-holes of the other ship. The 
Bon Homme was old and rotten, and soon became almost un- 
manageable. Water poured into the hold. Only three of the 
guns could be worked. The ship was really beaten, and only the 
stout heart of Jones held out. Three times both vessels were on 
fire. At last, sailors on the yards of the Bon Homme dropped 
hand-grenades down the hatchway of the Serapis. An explo- 
sion ensued ; twenty men were blown to pieces, and forty were 
disabled. The Serapis thereupon struck her colors. The Bon 
Homme was already sinking, and Jones transferred his men to 
the captured frigate. 

At this time, Jones was in command of five vessels — the Bon 
Homme Richard, Pallas, Cerf, Vengeance, and Alliance. All ex- 
cept the last were French ships. The Serapis, with her consort, 
the Countess of Scarborough, was convoying a fleet of merchant- 
men. During this desperate duel, the Pallas had fought the Scar- 
borough, taking her just after the Serapis surrendered. But the 
other vessels offered no help. So far from that, the Alliance, Cap- 
tain Landis, repeatedly fired into the Richard, with the hope of 
compelling Jones to capitulate, that Landis might have the credit 
of retaking the Richard and capturing the Serapis. 




,HE Hardships of the camp at Val- 
ley Forge are proverbial ; but 
the winter of 1779-80, in the huts 
at Morristown, witnessed, if pos- 
sible, greater misery. The cold 
set in early this year, and the 
winter was the severest of the 
eighteenth century. The want 
of bread and meat and the lack 
of clothing form the burden of 
the same old, sad story of priva- 
tion and suffering. Continental 
money had been issued by Con- 
gress to the amount of two hundred million dollars. It was now 
so much depreciated that forty dollars in bills were worth only 
one dollar in specie. A pair of boots cost six hundred dollars in 
these paper promises. A soldier's pay for a month would hardly 
buy him a dinner. To make the matter worse, the British had 
flooded the country with counterfeits, which could not be told 
from the genuine. Many persons entirely refused to take Con- 
tinental money. The sufferings of the soldiers, and the difficulty 
of procuring supplies, may be readily imagined. 

Washington, though with great reluctance, was forced to 
make requisitions upon the surrounding country. To the honor 
of the loyal people of Jersey be it remembered that, in this hour 
of gloom, they bore these exactions with patriotic submission. 
More than that, many of the farmers voluntarily sent in provi- 
sions, shoes, coats, and blankets ; while the women met together 
to knit stockings and to sew for the needy troops. One Anna 
Kitchel, wife of a Whippany farmer, was foremost in good deeds. 

284 SIXTH YEAR OF THE REVOLUTION. [March 3l-April 14. 

" Her potato bin, meal bag, and granary had always some comfort 
for the patriot soldiers. When unable to billet them in her house, 
a huge kettle, filled with meat and vegetables, constantly hung 
over the fire, that no one might go away hungry." 

Such patriotism, however, was not general throughout the 
country. Discouraged by the length of the war, the apathy of 
which we have already spoken became even deeper than before. 
In this extremity, Washington declared that he had " almost 
ceased to hope," and that friends and foes seemed to be combin- 
ing to pull down the fabric raised at so much expense of time, 
blood, and treasure. The best men no longer went to Congress, 
and in that body only fifteen or twenty persons transacted the 
most important business. Its councils were consequently scarcely 
heeded, and its authority was openly disregarded. The national 
power, divided among thirteen States, was fast sinking to its 
lowest ebb — this, too, at a time when the final conquest of the 
United States by Great Britain was scarcely expected, even by 
the most sanguine friends of the crown. 

On the day after Christmas, Clinton set sail from New York 
for an attack upon Charleston. After a tempestuous voyage, he 
reached North Edisto Sound, February 10th. Governor Rut- 
ledge and General Lincoln were indefatigable in their efforts to 
fortify the city. Clinton advanced with great caution, and it was 
not till the 31st of March that he sat down, with ten thousand 
men, before the American works on Charleston Neck. The 10th 
of April, he completed his first parallel, and summoned the city 
to surrender. Meanwhile, the English fleet had safely crossed the 
bar, passed Fort Moultrie, and was anchored in the harbor. 
Lincoln, however, influenced by the entreaties of the inhabitants, 
decided to remain with his army, although the capture of the city 
was a foregone conclusion. He therefore replied to Clinton that 
both duty and inclination moved him to defend his post to the 
last extremity. It was a useless attempt. Fort Moultrie surren- 
dered without a shot. The English pushed their works vigor- 

As yet, Lincoln had kept up his communication with the coun- 
try across the Cooper River. But on the night of April 14th, 
Tarleton fell upon General Huger, who was encamped, with fif- 
teen hundred cavalry, at Monk's Corner, and put him to flight. 
The patriots, after this discomfiture, retired north of the Santee. 
Lieutenant-Colonel White, who took command, afterward re- 


crossed that river, in order to attack a British foraging party. 
Ere he could get back, Tarleton was upon him with his terrible 
dragoons, and, at the ford of the Santee, repeated the catastrophe 
of Monk's Corner. 

Charleston was now entirely surrounded. All hope of aid or 
retreat was cut off, and, May 12th, the city, with its garrison, was 
surrendered. By counting soldiers, citizens, old and infirm, 
tories and whigs alike, Clinton made out five thousand paroled 
prisoners. A carnival of plunder ensued. Slaves were seized ; 
even those who came voluntarily into the English lines being sent 
to the West Indies. A major-general's share of the booty, we 
are told, was five thousand guineas. 

Expeditions were rapidly sent out to overrun the entire coun- 
try ; one up the Savannah to Augusta, another up the Santee 
toward Ninety-Six, and a third toward Camden. The advance 
of the last under Tarleton, May 29th, at Waxhaw Creek, over- 
took a regiment of Virginians under Colonel Buford, who was 
retreating into North Carolina, after the fall of Charleston. The 
Americans offered to surrender ; but Tarleton rejected the terms, 
and, while the patriots were still hesitating, fell upon them with 
the sword. No quarter was given. One hundred and thirteen 
were killed, and one hundred and fifty so brutally maimed that 
they could not be moved. " This bloody day only wanted," says 
Lee, in his Memoirs, " the war-dance and the roasting-fire, to have 
placed it first in the records of torture and death." Henceforth 
" Tarleton's quarter " was proverbial. 

The inhabitants now flocked in from all parts to meet the 
royal army and resume their ancient allegiance. On every side 
were heard cries of submission and loyalty. Clinton wrote 
home that " South Carolina was English again." Thinking that 
he could deal with the State as a royal province, by his famous 
proclamation of June 3d, he ordered that all, even the paroled 
prisoners, should be henceforth considered as liege subjects of 
Great Britain. The entire male population was to be enrolled in 
the militia ; the men over forty being liable to be called upon 
only in case of invasion, while those under that age were to serve 
six months each year. 

A Carolinian taken in arms against the king, was in this way 
made liable to be tried as a deserter and executed. Relying upon 
the promises of the British commander, many had fondly hoped 
to be allowed to remain at home in peace during the remainder 


of the war. They were now told that they must fight s and the 
only question was whether it should be for, or against, their native 
country. By this ill-timed rigor the Southern States, which 
appeared reunited to the crown, were henceforth convulsed with 
civil war. Brutal tories, having received commissions to raise 
troops, roamed the country, insulting, plundering, and even mur- 
dering those who refused to join their ranks. Patriots were out- 
lawed, and their property was confiscated. Delicate women, who 
had been accustomed to every comfort, were despoiled of raiment 
and home, and were glad to find refuge in some hovel too mean 
to excite the attention of the enemy. No one could be neutral. 
He who was not in arms for the king, was liable to be assassinated 
in his own home, even in the presence of his wife and little chil- 
dren. A merchant could not collect a debt, except on taking an 
oath of loyalty. One of Tarleton's quartermasters cut to pieces 
Samuel Wyly, in his own house near Camden, merely because he 
had been a volunteer at the siege of Charleston. One hundred 
and sixty of the inhabitants of Camden were sent to prison, and 
twenty were loaded with chains, on their refusal to take up arms 
against their countrymen. The Continentals captured at Charles- 
ton were sent to prison-ships, where, in thirteen months, one-third 
of them died of disease. Several hundred young men were taken 
to Jamaica, and forced to serve in a British regiment. Gadsden, 
Rutledge, and other devoted patriots were sent to St. Augustine. 

Reports of these and multitudes of similar outrages, happening 
month after month for over two long years of British occupation, 
stirred the most sluggish hearts. Patriots, exiled from home, 
took up arms, blacksmiths forging their rude weapons, and 
women, who gloried in the title of " rebels," casting bullets for 
them out of the pewter utensils they sacrificed from their pantry- 
shelves. The war at the South henceforth assumed a character 
unlike that which it possessed in the North at any point ; except, 
perhaps, in the sections exposed to Indian forays, or the so-called 
neutral ground along the Hudson, between the English and 
American lines. 

The Carolinas, wild and extensive, cut up by streams, full of 
swamps and tangled woods, and having a mountainous border on 
the west, were exactly fitted for a bush-warfare, and became the 
scene of the most romantic adventures and hair-breadth escapes. 
The inhabitants were nearly equally divided in sentiment, and 
tories and whigs were bent on each other's destruction. Both 


sides organized partisan corps, which rendezvoused in swamps, 
and sallied out, as occasion offered, to strike a sudden blow, and 
then escaped with their plunder through by-paths known only to 
themselves. The country was harried by the continual passage 
of these predatory bands. The rancor of the royalists provoked 
retaliation ; rude justice was dealt on occasions, and the bitterest 
hatred was engendered. Daring leaders arose whose names 
carried terror to their foes and gave strength to the cause they 
upheld. On the British side were Tarleton with his merciless 
dragoons, and Ferguson with his riflemen ; on the American, 
were Sumter, the " Carolian Game-cock," whom Lord Cornwallis 
characterized as his " greatest plague " ; Marion, the " Bayard 
of the South"; and the ever-vigilant Pickens. 

Dark and bloody deeds, lit up here and there with a gleam of 
kindness and faith, characterize this page of our history. Though 
generally lightly touched upon, they greatly influenced the issue 
of the contest. Every heart has been aroused in reading Bryant's 
Song of Marion's Men," those patriots " few, but true and tried," 
under a " leader frank and bold." The very breath of the forest 
is caught in the stirring lines : 

"Woe to the English soldiery that little dread us near ! 
On them shall light at midnight a strange and sudden fear ; 
When, waking to their tents on fire, they grasp their arms in vain, 
And they who stand to face us are beat to earth again ; 
And they who fly in terror deem a mighty host behind, 
And hear the tramp of thousands upon the hollow wind. 

" Well knows the fair and friendly moon the band that Marion leads — 
The glitter of their rifles, the scampering of their steeds. 
'Tis life to guide the fiery barb across the moonlit plain ; 
'Tis life to feel the night-wind that lifts his tossing mane. 
A moment in the British camp — a moment, and away 
Back to the pathless forest before the peep of day." 

But there is another virtue beside courage — that of endurance. 
Concerning Marion, it has been said that " his simplicity of con- 
duct, preserved under all circumstances, was above praise ; the 
cheerfulness with which he endured privations, surpassed en- 
comium." At one time, a British officer was sent to negotiate 
some business with him. When it was concluded, Marion po- 
litely invited him to remain to dinner — an invitation which the 




officer, ah eady charmed with Marion's dignified simplicity, gladly 

accepted. The repast consisted entirely of roasted potatoes, 

served upon pieces of bark, and was offered without apology, but 

with the simple mention of the old 

adage that "Hunger is the best . ..(7, ^ MN 

sauce." The British officer was A ^'A 


The British officer was 
at such a meagre diet. 


" Surely, general," he said, " this 
cannot be your ordinary fare." 
" It is indeed," was the quiet 




reply ; " but on this occasion, having the honor of your company, 
we are happy to have more than our usual allowance." The 
officer was so affected by this unselfish patriotism, especially as 
he afterward learned that Marion served without pay, that, imme- 
diately upon his return, he resigned his commission, declaring 
that it was folly to fight against men who showed such devotion 
to their cause. 

Colonel Horry of Carolina, who belonged to Marion's brigade, 
was another dauntless patriot. He had an impediment in his 
speech, which greatly embarrassed him. A ludicrous story is 


told of him when, after having waited some time in ambuscade to 
attack a certain British detachment, he had them at length in his 
power. The critical moment had come, and he jumped to his 
feet to give the order to fire. " Fi-fi-fi-fi-fi — " his tongue would 
go no further. Irritated almost to madness, he shouted, " Shoot, 
d — n you — shoot ! shoot ! You know very well what I would say 
— shoot and be d — d to you ! " His own courage reacted upon 
and inspired all who came in contact with him. At Quimby, 
Colonel Baxter, himself a brave soldier, called out, " Colonel, I 
am wounded! " " Never mind, Baxter, stand to your post ! " was 
the reply. " But I can't stand, colonel ; I am wounded a second 
time ! " " Then lie down, Baxter, but don't quit your post." 
" Colonel," cried the same voice, " they have shot me again, and 
if I stay here any longer, they Avill shoot me to pieces." " Be it 
so, Baxter, but stir not! " was the calm response. Baxter obeyed 
the order, and was actually wounded a fourth time before the 
engagement was over. 

One beautiful spring morning, a splendidly-dressed officer, 
accompanied by two aids and followed by a score of troopers as a 
body-guard, dashed up the avenue to a fine old mansion, on the 
piazza of which sat two ladies and a little child. Politely bowing, 
the officer said, " Have I the pleasure of speaking to the mistress 
of this house ? " Being answered in the affirmative, and learning 
that her husband was absent, Tarleton, for it was he, next in- 
quired, " Is he a rebel ? " " No, sir," was the quick reply ; " he is 
in the army of his country, and fighting against our invaders; 
therefore, not a rebel." " I fear, madame, that we differ," Tarle- 
ton rejoined ; " a friend to his country will be a friend to the king, 
our master." " Slaves only acknowledge a master in this coun- 
try," retorted the lady, with spirit. An order was at once given 
to quarter the troops on the plantation, and then, again bowing, 
Tarleton said, " Madame, the service of his majesty requires the 
temporary occupation of your property, and, if it will not be too 
great an inconvenience, I shall take up my quarters in your 
house." His tone was decisive. The lady simply responded, 
" My family consists of only myself, my sister, my child, and a 
few negroes. We are your prisoners." A thousand soldiers — the 
choicest of English cavalry — were soon encamped upon the 
grounds. Lieutenant Slocumb, the owner of the plantation, was 
at that moment, with twelve or fifteen recruits, reconnoitering 
Cornwallis's encampment, little dreaming that his own beautiful 
l 9 


home was invaded. Mrs. Slocumb prepared an ample dinner for 
her uninvited guests. They especially enjoyed her excellent 
peach-brandy. Learning that it was the product of the plantation 
orchard, an Irish captain said, " Colonel, when we conquer this 
country, is it not to be divided amongst us ? " " Undoubtedly 
the officers will receive large possessions of the subjugated prov- 
inces," was the reply. " Allow me to observe," interposed Mrs. 
Slocumb, " that the only land any British officer will ever hold in 
this country will measure but six feet by two." " Excuse me, 
madame," replied Tarleton ; " for your sake I regret to say it, 
but this beautiful plantation will probably be a ducal seat for 
some of us." The lady's eyes flashed. " Do not trouble yourself 
about me," she retorted ; " my husband is able to make this 
anything but a quiet seat for a duke or even a king." At this 
moment, a rapid volley of firearms resounded from the wood near 
at hand. 

Mrs. Slocumb, who had been in an agony of anxiety lest the 
lieutenant should return, and, unawares, fall into the enemy's 
hands, had, immediately on their arrival, despatched an old negro 
with a bag of corn to a mill on the road her husband must travel, 
charging him to tell his master of the danger. But " Big 
George," with the indolence and curiosity incident to his race, 
had not yet left the hedge-row, behind which he was admiring the 
British red-coats, shining helmets, and dashing plumes. By 
adroit remarks, Mrs. Slocumb had also contrived to impress 
Tarleton with the idea that there was a large number of Amer- 
ican troops in the vicinity. " You would not, of course, be sur- 
prised at a call from Lee," she observed, " or from your old friend 
Colonel Washington, who shook your hand rather rudely, it is 
said, when you last met," pointing, as she spoke, to a scar left by 
Washington's sabre. At the sound of the firing, all rushed to the 
door, and Tarleton, mounting his horse, put himself at the head of 
his regiment. Just then the cause of the disturbance was made 
clear. Lieutenant Slocumb, coming upon the scouts Tarleton had 
sent out, had set upon them with his little band, and was chasing 
them up the avenue to his own house, so intent on his purpose that 
he saw nothing else. At this moment, Big George came to his 
senses, and, rushing before his master, shouted, " Hold on, massa ! 
de debbil here ! Look you." Slocumb was already surrounded, 
but with wonderful coolness dashed through the thinnest quarter, 
scaled the fences, and, leaping a canal amid a shower of balls, 


reached in safety the shelter of the wood he had just left. The 
men started to pursue, but Tarleton, believing a large force to be 
hidden there, sounded the trumpet for recall, and returned with 
his officers to the peach-brandy and the coffee. Slocumb lived to 
do good service thereafter. 

Nancy Hart of Georgia was one of the most remarkable char- 
acters of these stirring times. An Amazon in stature, her courage, 
patriotism, wit and temper were in proportion to her altitude. 
One evening she was at home in her log-house, with her children 
sitting around the fire, over which a large pot of soap was boiling. 
As Nancy vigorously stirred the soap, she dispensed to her family 
the latest news of the war, seasoned with her own spirited sen- 
timents. Suddenly one of the children espied a face between 
the crevices of the huge log chimney, and silently conveyed the 
intimation to his mother. As her violent whiggism was known 
and hated, she readily divined that a tory spy was at hand. Rat- 
tling away with renewed zeal, giving sarcastic pictures of the dis- 
comfiture of the tories, as she professed to have just received 
special intelligence, and meantime stirring her soap with increas- 
ing fury, she waited till the proper moment arrived, when, quick as 
lightning, she dashed a ladleful of the boiling liquid plump through 
the crevice, into the very face of the eavesdropper. Blinded by 
pain and sudden surprise, he screamed and roared vociferously, 
while the indomitable Nancy amused herself at his expense, and, 
with jibes and taunts, bound him fast as her prisoner. 

When the partisan warfare had become so hot, and the tories 
so strong, that whigs were forced to hide or swing, and Nancy's 
husband had taken to the canebrake with the rest, she still 
stood at her post, her spirits rising with the tempest. The 
tories at length gave her a call, and, in true soldier manner, 
ordered a repast. " Nancy soon had the necessary materials 
for a good feast spread before them. The smoking venison, the 
hasty hoe-cake, and the fresh honeycomb were sufficient to have 
provoked the appetite of a gorged epicure. They simultaneously 
stacked their arms and seated themselves, when, with a cat-like 
spring, the dauntless Nancy seized one of the guns, cocked it, and, 
with a blazing oath, declared she would blow out the brains of the 
first mortal that offered to rise, or take a mouthful. They all knew 
her character too well to imagine that she would say one thing 
and do another. ' Go,' said she to her son, ' and tell the whigs 
that I have taken six base tories.' They sat still, each expecting 



U 780. 

to be offered -up, with doggedly mean countenance, bearing the 
marks of disappointed revenge, shame, and unappeased hunger. 
Whether the incongruity between Nancy's eyes — when in rage 
they had a slight obliquity — caused each to imagine himself her 
immediate object, or whether her commanding attitude and her 
stern and ferocious fixture of countenance overawed them, or the 
powerful idea of their non-soldierlike conduct or the certainty of 
death unnerved them, it is not easy to determine. They were soon 


relieved from her glare, but only to be dealt with according to 
the rules of the times." Another account of this transaction states 
that Nancy shot two of the tories, and then saying " shooting was 
too good for them," ordered the others to be taken to a tree near 
by and hanged. Nancy Hart rendered several signal services to 
the patriots. When Augusta was in the hands of the British, and 
great anxiety was felt concerning their intentions, she assumed 
male attire, and, feigning insanity, went boldly into the British 
camp, where she obtained much valuable information to bring 
back to the American commander at Wilkes. At another time, 
on a similar mission, she walked to the Savannah River ; made a 


raft of logs tied together with grape vines, crossed, accomplished 
her end, and returned with important intelligence. On several 
occasions she made single prisoners. Once, having met a tory, 
she engaged him in conversation, and, when off his guard, seized 
his gun, and compelled him to march before her into the Amer- 
ican camp. A county in Georgia now bears her family name, and 
thus perpetuates her memory. 

After the fall of Charleston there was no regular patriot army 
in the field, but the partisan bands kept up the contest. July 12th, 
while one Captain Huck, who was in command of a British 
patrol at Cross Roads, was surrounded by women who were 
vainly begging the ruffian to spare their homes, Sumter's troop 
dashed suddenly into the street from both ends, slew the captain 
and killed or captured the entire party. His numbers increasing, 
July 30th, this bold leader ventured to attack the British sta- 
tion at Rocky Mount ; but having no artillery to batter down the 
log block-house, was compelled to give up the attempt. Seven 
days after, he assaulted the post at Hanging Rock. His soldiers 
had, at the beginning, only two rounds of ammunition, and they 
would not have had even this but for the heroism of two women. 
It had been stored in a house where a Mrs. Thomas resided with 
her daughter and son-in-law. The enemy having attacked the 
dwelling, the three barricaded the doors, and, the women loading 
the guns, the man discharged them so rapidly, and with such 
effect, that the British, supposing a force to be posted there, 
withdrew. At Hanging Rock, as in many other engagements, the 
patriots soon supplied themselves from the tories whom they put 
to flight. At first Sumter carried all before him, but his men be- 
coming disorganized by the liquor they found in camp, he drew 
off with his prisoners and booty when victory seemed just within 
his grasp. 

A young boy not yet fourteen years of age took part in this 
conflict. His name was Andrew Jackson, the same who afterward 
became the hero of many battles, and the seventh President of 
the United States. 

In the spring, Washington sent from his little army a de- 
tachment which he could ill spare for the help of the South. 
The gallant De Kalb was ordered thither with two thousand 
Maryland and Delaware Continentals. Washington desired that 
Greene should be appointed to the Southern army, in place of 
Lincoln ; but Congress unanimously designated Gates for this ser- 

294 SIXTH YEAR OF THE REVOLUTION. [ Julv 2 , 5 7 io Ug ' 6 ' 

vice, making him, moreover, as once before, independent of the 
commander-in-chief, and responsible only to that body. 

As Gates was on the way to his new field, he met General 
Charles Lee, who cautioned him lest his " Northern laurels should 
turn to Southern willows." But, full of elation, he hastened south- 
ward, vaporing much of" Burgoyning Cornwallis," and expecting 
to end the war with another Saratoga. July 25th, he joined the 
army at Deep River. De Kalb had intended to march through 
Salisbury and Charlotte, a fertile region abounding in supplies. 
Instead, Gates took the direct route for Camden, through a wilder- 
ness of sand-hills and pine barrens. His men, eating green corn 
and unripe fruit, became the prey of disease. Emerging from this 
inhospitable country, he arrived at Clermont, August 13th. He 
had only about three thousand men, who had never been paraded 
together, and many of whom were raw militia. Full of conceit, 
however, and supposing that the enemy would, of course, flee 
before his terrible name, he advanced to meet Lord Cornwallis, 
who was then in command of the British, Clinton having returned 
to New York. 

Singularly, both generals had appointed the same time to 
make a night attack. While marching for this purpose, about 
half-past one on the morning of the 16th, the advance-guards of 
the two armies unexpectedly encountered each other in the 
woods near Camden. After some sharp skirmishing, the main 
bodies waited for day. At dawn, Cornwallis ordered a charge. 
The Virginia militia under Stevens, not knowing how to use their 
bayonets, which they had received only the day before, fled at the 
first fire. Two-thirds of the army disappeared without returning 
a shot. Amid the general rout, a regiment of North Carolinians 
under Dixon refused to flee, and stood firm with the Maryland 
and Delaware men under De Kalb. At last, that Polish veteran 
fell, pierced with eleven wounds. His brave comrades for a time 
fought desperately over his body, but were overwhelmed by 
numbers. Gates, with no thought of those who were still bravely 
contending on the field against such terrible odds, fled with the 
militia, or, as he said, " retired." Late that night, with a solitary 
companion, General Caswell of North Carolina, he reached Char- 
lotte. The next morning, he kept on to Hillsborough, making, 
says Bancroft, two hundred miles in three days and a half. The 
"grand army," as it had been pompously styled, was irrecover- 
ably scattered. « 

Aug ' i780? Ct ' 7 '] BATTLE OF KING'S MOUNTAIN. 205 

Previous to the battle, Sumter, having again emerged from his 
retreat in the swamp, had gone below Camden with a strong 
detachment from Gates's army to capture a convoy of stores 
designed for the British. In the midst of his success, learning of 
the disaster at Camden, and seeing his own perilous position in 
the presence of a victorious enemy, he retreated up the river. 
But while he was taking a noon-day halt at Fishing Creek, his 
men bathing and cooking, and he lying asleep in the shade of a 
wagon, Tarleton burst into the camp, recovered the plunder and 
prisoners, and scattered or captured his entire force. Two days 
after, Sumter rode into Charlotte without hat or saddle. 

But other partisans were more successful. On the very day 
of Sumter's defeat at Fishing Creek, Colonel Williams, with the 
patriots of Ninety-Six, stormed the British post at Musgrove's 
Mill, garrisoned by five hundred troops ; and the day Sumter 
rode into Charlotte, Marion, near Nelson's Ferry on the Santee, 
sprang out of his covert upon a convoy of prisoners from Camden 
fight, captured a part of the guard, and rescued one hundred and 
fifty Continental soldiers from a fate worse than death. 

Early in September, Cornwallis marched into North Carolina 
via Charlotte and Salisbury, while Ferguson was ordered to move 
along the base of the mountains, on his way recruiting the loyal- 
ists from the uplands of South Carolina. Presently the attention 
of the latter was drawn toward Augusta. Clark, with one hun- 
dred riflemen, had there captured the rich presents designed to 
rouse the Cherokees to take part in this struggle. Reinforce- 
ments from Ninety-Six, however, reaching the British, Clark 
beat a hasty retreat, some of his men being overtaken. By the 
orders of Brown, the commander at Augusta, thirteen of these 
were hung, and as many given up to the Indians to be toma- 
hawked or tortured. 

Ferguson, hoping to cut off Clark's party, now pressed closer 
to the mountains, where he met with an unexpected obstacle. 
The patriots, fleeing before his ruthless advance, had roused the 
free backwoodsmen over the mountains with the story of their 
wrongs. These had gathered, each man with his trusty rifle, a 
bag of bullets, and a store of provisions and powder — the latter 
made from nitre found in the caves, and charcoal burned by their 
wives on their own fireplaces. Under Colonels Shelby and 
Sevier — afterward first governors, respectively, of Kentucky and 
Tennessee — Williams, Cleaveland, McDowell, and Campbell, they 


suddenly emerged from the wilderness, bent on Ferguson's de- 
struction. He took the alarm, and hurried eastward toward 
Cornwallis. The trooper-chiefs, selecting nine hundred men with 
the best horses and rifles, pushed ahead, dismounting only once in 
thirty-six hours. 

On the afternoon of October 7th, the enemy was brought at 
bay on King's Mountain. There were over eleven hundred, but 
the backwoodsmen did not wait to count the odds. Forming into 
four columns, they clambered up the steep, craggy cliffs from all 
sides at once. Driven back here and there by the bayonets of the 
regulars, they returned directly, and all the while poured in a 
murderous fire. The contest lasted an hour, when Ferguson fell, 
and his men, despairing, surrendered. Four hundred and fifty-six 
of the British were either killed or severely wounded, and six 
hundred and forty-eight were taken prisoners. The American 
loss was only eighty-eight in all. Ten of the tories, notorious 
assassins and house-burners, were hung by the enraged moun- 
taineers. There were eleven selected, but one of them broke 
loose as they were being led to execution, and, " though he had 
to make his way through a thousand of the best marksmen and 
horsemen in the world, such was the unusual admiration or feel- 
ing on the occasion, not one would lift a hand to stop him." 
Campbell, on learning of this summary vengeance, immediatel5 
put a stop to further executions. 

The hardy sons of the forest, having accomplished their pur- 
pose, quietly returned to their log-cabins and their uneventful 
lives. King's Mountain proved another Lexington or Bunker 
Hill. Tarleton, who was coming to Ferguson's aid, heard of the 
disaster and hastened back to Cornwallis. That general, with no 
longer any thought of conquering North Carolina, but only of 
getting back in safety, immediately set out on his return. Militia 
on every hand beset his rear and flank. Frequently single rifle- 
men would ride up within shot of the British column, take 
careful aim with their unerring pieces, fire, and then, wheeling, 
disappear in the woods. Troops were cut off", and food became 
scarce. For days before the army reached Winnsborough, in 
South Carolina, two and a half ears of corn for each soldier was 
the only ration. 

Marion now came out of his hiding-places along the Pedee and 
the Black Rivers, and, defeating a party of tories who were in 
pursuit of him, threatened the communications with Charleston 

0c i t 780° V "] ACTIVITY OF MARION AND SUMTER. 297 

Cornwallis at once sent Tarleton after him. Delighting in this 
commission, he set off. His line could everywhere be traced by the 
ruin he left behind him. Groups of houseless women and children, 
whose homes — some of them spacious and elegant — had been 
burned by his ruthless orders, clustered about fires in the open air, 
and in the chill November rain. One lady, the widow of a brave 
general officer, who was believed to have knowledge of Marion's 
whereabouts, was actually beaten for not revealing it, and left 
without a change of raiment by the ashes of her dwelling. At the 
approach of the enemy, Marion took to his covert in the swamp. 
Just then, Tarleton was recalled. Sumter had appeared in the 
Northwest, stopping supplies and defeating a detachment under 
Major Wemyss, who had ventured to attack his camp at Fishdam, 
and now menaced Ninety-Six. Tarleton quickly turned to meet 
the " Game-cock." Sumter, being apprised of this, chose a strong 
post at Blackstock Hill, where he repulsed the British attack 
with heavy loss. The patriot chief was, however, severely 
wounded, and his men retired, carrying their commander with 
them. Marion proved a source of constant terror to the British 
army at the South. It is said, indeed, that Cornwallis himself 
had an especial dread of Marion, and, when outside of Charleston, 
never sat down in a strange house, but always remained on the 
piazza or under a tree, that he might constantly watch for this 
always-to-be-expected foe. 

No military movements of great importance took place at the 
North during this year. A few marauding excursions only are 
worthy of mention. In the winter, New York Bay and the adja- 
cent rivers were frozen over, so that the city was open to land 
attack, artillery being able to move anywhere upon the ice. It 
was expected that Washington would take advantage of this op- 
portunity, but the condition of his army forbade. On the night 
of January 14th, General Stirling attempted to surprise a British 
post on Staten Island, but failed, and came back with many of his 
men severely frost-bitten. Eleven days after, Knyphausen, in 
command at New York during the absence of Clinton in South 
Carolina, retorted by two expeditions ; one, which crossed over 
to Newark, captured a company of soldiers stationed there, and 
burned the Academy ; and another, which surprised the picket at 
Elizabethtown, plundered the inhabitants, and set fire to the church 
and town-hall. 

The pastor of the church which was destroyed was Rev. James 



TFeb, 2, 
L 1780. 

Caldwell, known among the whigs as a " rousing gospel preacher," 
and among the tories as a " rebel firebrand." Laying his pistols 
on the desk beside the Bible, he was wont at times strangely to 
mingle patriotism with piety. He was a great favorite in the 
Jerseys. His bell rang the alarm when the enemy approached, 
and under his roof the militia gathered and the wounded were 


February 2d, a detachment set out by night from New York 
in sleighs, to surprise Young's house, near White Plains.. This 

was a stone building gar- 
risoned by the patriots, 
and commanded a road 
by which provisions 
would naturally pass 
along the valley of the 
Neperan to New York. 
The snow was two feet 
deep, and the British 
were finally compelled 
to leave their sleighs 
and trudge along on foot. 
The alarm was given, and 
the Westchester farmers 
quickly gathered ; but 
after a sharp skirmish, 
the post was stormed 
and the house fired. The 
expedition got back to 
King's Bridge after an absence of only twenty-four hours. The 
prisoners were hurried into the jail and the sugar-house, to en- 
dure the horrors of British captivity. Few ever returned home. 
These expeditions illustrate the way in which the neighborhood 
of New York, especially the Neutral Ground, was constantly har- 
ried through the war. 

In the summer the American army was threatened with star- 
vation. Finally, two Connecticut regiments declared their deter- 
mination to either go home or get food at the point of the bayonet. 
It was with the greatest difficulty that Washington could induce 
them to return to duty. In this emergency, Robert Morris sent 
to camp three million rations. Soldiers' relief associations were 
also organized by the women of Philadelphia. Those who had 


Ju i n 7 e 80. 8 '] KNYPHAUSEN IN THE JERSEYS. 299 

money gave it ; the poor contributed their work. Twenty-two 
hundred shirts, we are told, were thus manufactured, on each of 
which was inscribed the name of the fair maker. 

Knyphausen, learning of the disaffection of the army, with 
about five thousand men, made a bold push into the Jerseys. 
The advance landed at Elizabethtown before daylight, June 6th- 
As the troops came to a fork in the road, a solitary sentinel firec' 
into the dimly-discerned mass. That chance-shot mortally 
wounded a British general. Soon the booming of heavy guns 
and the flashing of signal-fires spread the alarm over the coun- 
try. The yeomanry, hastily forming, fired upon the enemy from 
behind fences and trees. The British, reaching Connecticut 
Farms, sacked and burned the town. The wife of Reverend 
James Caldwell, the " rebel fire-brand," was deliberately shot 
through the window of the parsonage, while, it is said, kneeling 
by her bedside, holding the hand of her little child and engaged 
in prayer. After the army had passed, the neighbors with diffi- 
culty rescued the body from the ruins of the burning building. 
The tragical fate of this estimable woman raised a desire for ven- 
geance similar to that produced by the death of Miss McCrea, 
three years before. 

Washington had now arrived and taken position across the 
Rahway, and the troops, which the British expected to find 
thoroughly demoralized, were standing in line, ready to resist the 
passage of the river. Knyphausen recoiled from their firm 
aspect. Several days of uncertainty ensued. Clinton having 
returned from the South, and threatening a movement up the 
Hudson River, Washington retired to Rockaway Bridge. It 
was, however, only a feint on the part of the British, and Kny- 
phausen at once advanced upon Springfield. Greene, who was in 
command, gallantly defended the bridges across the Rahway. 
On that day, says Irving, " no one showed more ardor in the fight 
than Caldwell, the chaplain. The image of his murdered wife 
was before his eyes. Finding the men in want of wadding, he 
galloped to the Presbyterian church, and brought thence a quan- 
tity of Watts's psalm and hymn books, which he distributed for 
the purpose among the soldiers. ' Now, boys,' cried he, ' put 
Watts into them ! ' " 

The advance of the enemy was finally checked. Knyphausen, 
not daring to hazard the difficult passes beyond, again aban- 
doned his attempt. Ere his troops left Springfield, they burned 


nearly the entire village. During the retreat, they were inces- 
santly harassed by the militia, while Light-Horse Harry hung 
on their rear. It was the last time the British set foot in New 

We now turn to a dark page in the history of the War for 
Independence. Benedict Arnold, whose bravery at Quebec, 
Ridgefield, and Saratoga had excited such universal admiration, 
was stationed at Philadelphia while his wound received at the 
last-named battle was healing. Though considered at heart a 
true friend of the country, he was known to have been greatly 
dissatisfied because, in the early part of the war, his name was 
omitted from the list of the first five major-generals appointed by 
Congress. After his gallant action at Ridgefield, he was commis- 
sioned major-general, but was placed below the previous five. 
Saratoga, however, brought him the rank he had claimed, and he 
was supposed to be content. Having married a Miss Shippen, a 
tory lady of great beauty and accomplishments, he launched into 
a style of living far beyond his income. This he endeavored to 
support by engaging in various commercial schemes, by pri- 
vateering speculations, and even by sharing in the dishonest gains 
of sutlers. Haughty and overbearing in his manner and sordid 
in his disposition, he rendered himself exceedingly unpopular, 
and on one occasion he was mobbed in the streets of Philadelphia. 

The council of Philadelphia finally preferred charges of mis- 
conduct against him which were fully substantiated, and in 
January, 1780, he was sentenced to be reprimanded by the com- 
mander-in-chief. Washington performed the disagreeable duty 
with exceeding leniency, but Arnold made this instance of what 
he called his country's ingratitude a pretext for treason. It is 
now known that for nearly a year previously he had been in com- 
munication with the enemy. The way to this is supposed to have 
been paved by the fact that Miss Shippen, at her father's house, 
had become well acquainted with Major Andre, General Clin- 
ton's aide-de-camp, both having been prominent characters in 
the famous mischianza pageant at Philadelphia. In the corres- 
pondence, Arnold used the pseudonym of " Gustavus," and 
Major Andre that of " John Anderson." 

Bent upon gratifying at once his revenge and his love of 
money, Arnold determined to betray into the hands of the enemy 
the fortress of West Point, then the most important position in 
the country, and the main depot of supplies. He accordingly 


secured from Washington the command of this post, on the plea 
that his wound would not permit his undertaking active service. 
The plot being ripe, Arnold requested an interview with a " person 
fully authorized " to arrange the details. Major Andre accord- 
ingly ascended the Hudson, and went on board the British sloop- 
of-war Vulture, then lying at anchor in the river. Just before 
dawn on the morning of September 22d, he landed at the foot 
of Clove Mountain, where Arnold was waiting in the bushes 
to receive him. The two repaired to the house of one Smith, 
within the American lines, where they remained until late in the 

The plan agreed upon was for Clinton to send a strong force 
to attack the works at West Point, while Arnold was to scatter 
the garrison, so that no effective defence would be possible. 
While their conference progressed, fire had been opened on the 
Vulture from a small battery on Teller's Point, and she had 
dropped down the river. Andre was therefore compelled to 
return to New York by land. Furnished with a pass from 
Arnold and a citizen's dress, he accordingly set out under the 
guidance of Smith. . Everything passed off well. A little distance 
north of Pine's Bridge, over the Croton, Smith returned, assuring 
Andre that he would now meet only parties of British marauders, 
" Cow Boys," as they were called. 

Andre, pressing forward, full of satisfaction over the result of 
his hazardous undertaking, had nearly reached Tarrytown, when 
he was suddenly stopped by a small scouting party of three men, 
named Paulding, Van Wart, and Williams. Paulding demanded 
which way he was going. Expecting to meet only British so near 
the lines, Andre incautiously replied, " I hope, gentlemen, you 
belong to our party." "Which party?" was asked. "The 
lower party," answered Andre. Paulding giving an affirmative 
response, Andre then said, " I am a British officer out on particu- 
lar business. I hope you will not detain me a moment." The 
secret was now out, and he was at once ordered to dismount. In 
dismay, he showed Arnold's pass. At first this would have satis- 
fied his captors ; now it was too late. Upon searching him, they 
found in his stockings, among other papers in Arnold's handwrit- 
ing, a plan of the fortifications at West Point. " This is a spy," 
exclaimed Paulding. Andre now offered any sum they might de- 
mand to secure his release. The incorruptible patriots refused the 
bribe, and, taking him to North Castle, left him in the hands of 





Lieutenant-Colonel Jameson. Having done their duty, they 
departed, without asking any reward, or even leaving their 
names. With inconceivable stupidity, Jameson wrote to Arnold, 
informing him of the arrest. 

Arnold was at breakfast when he received the note. Calling 
aside his wife, he told her of his peril. Terrified by his words. 


she fainted. Kissing his boy, who lay asleep in the cradle, he 
darted out of the house, mounted a horse, by an unfrequented 
path reached the river, jumped into his boat, and was rowed to 
the Vulture. Here he basely delivered up his oarsmen as prison- 
ers of war. Clinton, on hearing of the fact, at once ordered them 
to be released. 

Washington arrived a few hours after Arnold's escape. 
" Whom can we trust now ? " was his exclamation when he 
received the startling news. Andre" was tried by court-martial, 
and convicted as a spy. His sad fate awakened universal inter- 
est, and every effort was made to secure his release. But the 
inexorable laws of war admitted no pardon. As a last favor, 
Andre besought that he might die as a soldier rather than as a 
criminal. This, too, the custom of both sides forbade. His letter 


to Washington, in which he touchingly preferred this request, has 
been thus beautifully paraphrased by Willis : 

" It is not the fear of death 

That damps my brow ; 
It is not for another breath 

I ask thee now ; 
I can die with a lip unstirred, 

And a quiet heart — 
Let but this prayer be heard 

Ere I depart. 

" I can give up my mother's look— 

My sister's kiss ; 
I can think of love — yet brook 

A death like this ! 
I can give up the young fam* 

I burned to win ; 
All — but the spotless name 

I glory in. 

"Thine is the power to give, 

Thine to deny, 
Joy for the hour I live, 

Calmness to die. 
By all the brave should cherish, 

By my dying breath, 
I ask that I may perish 

By a soldier's death." 

The sentence was executed at Tappan October 2d. Major Tall- 
madge, who accompanied him, says, " When he came in sight of 
the gibbet, he appeared to be startled, and enquired with some 
emotion whether he was not to be shot. Being informed that the 
mode first appointed for his death could not consistently be 
altered, he exclaimed, ' How hard is my fate ! ' but immediately 
added, ' it will soon be over.' I then shook hands with him under 
the gallows and retired." Having been given an opportunity to 
speak, he simply said, " I pray you to bear witness that I meet 
my fate like a brave man." 

Much sympathy was felt for this unfortunate young officer, 
who was so vastly superior to the traitor who was the cause of his 
ignoble death. Andre was brilliant and accomplished, an artist and 
a scholar. He had written some spicy satirical poems on military 
events. The closing verse of one, entitled " The Cow Chase," 
wherein Lee and Wayne are the ludicrous heroes, runs thus; 


" And now I've closed my epic strain, 
I tremble as I show it, 
Lest this same warrio-drover Wayne 
Should ever catch the poet." 

It is a singular coincidence that the last canto of this poem was 
published the very day of Andre's arrest, and that General 
Wayne commanded the division of the army at Tappan, when the 
ill-starred satirist proved his mock fears to be sad prophecies. 

Arnold received, as the reward of his treachery, six thousand 
three hundred and fifteen pounds and a major-general's commis- 
sion in the British army. The fame of his gallant deeds was 
forever hidden by the memory of his base deceit, and he was 
henceforth despised alike by Americans and British. 

A curious attempt was made by Washington to get possession 
of Arnold. The agent employed was John Champe, sergeant- 
major in Lee's cavalry. His first step was a pretended deser- 
tion. Lee withheld pursuit as long as possible without exciting 
suspicion, but the vigilant officer of the day discovered Champe's 
absence almost immediately. Obliged to simulate an ardent 
desire to overtake the culprit, Lee, though taxing his wits for 
causes of delay, could not give Champe more than an hour's 
start. The chase was hot, and twice the fleeing deserter was 
nearly in the clutches of his pursuers ; but at last he succeeded in 
reaching the river, and, swimming for his life, was taken on board 
a British galley. He was referred to General Arnold, who was 
forming an American Legion, mostly composed of renegades. 
Arnold made him recruiting-sergeant, which ensured him frequent 
access to his house. A plan was laid with two disguised patriots 
like himself, to whom he had brought letters of introduction, to 
seize and gag Arnold in his garden, where he walked every night 
about twelve o'clock. They were then to convey him to the 
river, as a drunken companion, and row him over to the Jersey 
shore. All was in readiness. The night arrived, and Lee, who 
had been kept informed of affairs, waited with three dragoons, in 
the wood near Hoboken, to convey the traitor to camp. Hour 
after hour passed, and no boat approached. Day broke, and the 
disappointed party went back alone. A few days afterward, a 
letter from one of Champe's associates explained the failure of the 
plot. Only the day before the night fixed for its execution, 
Arnold removed his quarters, and Champe, instead of crossing 
the Hudson with his prize, as he had fondly hoped, was on board 

Oct., I 
1780. J 



one of the British transports, from whence he never departed 
till Arnold landed his troops in Virginia. When, at last, he 
effected his escape and rejoined his old regiment, his comrades 
were not a little surprised at the joyous reception given him by 
Lee. The truth soon became known, and the long-reprobated 
deserter assumed his true place in the hearts of his fellow-soldiers 
as a hero and a patriot. Lest, in the vicissitudes of war, he 
might fall into the enemy's hands and die on a gibbet, Washing- 
ton, with distinguished marks of esteem, gave him a discharge 
from the service. 

At the close of the campaign of 1778, Lafayette, having been 
granted leave of absence at the request of Washington, returned 
to France. He was there received with every mark of respect 
and consideration. He was almost immediately called to the 
palace, the queen being anxious to hear about her " Dear Ameri- 
cans." "It is fortunate," said Maurepas, the minister, "that 
Lafayette did not wish to strip Versailles of its furniture to send to 
America." Having gained a promise of assistance for the United 
States, he rejoined Washington, May 11, 1780. He brought the 
commander-in-chief a commission as lieutenant-general of the 
army of France and vice-admiral of its navy. July 10th, a French 
fleet, carrying Rochambeau and six thousand soldiers, arrived at 
Newport. We shall hear of them the next year at Yorktown. 




HE value of the Continental cur- 
rency had now sunk so low that 
it was said that a " wagon-load of 
the scrip would hardly purchase 
a wagon-load of provisions, while 
one going to trade was forced 
to carry his money in a market- 
basket." Destitute of food and 
clothing, and without pay for a 
year, thirteen hundred of the 
Pennsylvania troops, consisting 
principally of Irish immigrants, 
encamped at Morristown, broke 
into open revolt on the night of the New-Year, and left camp 
with the avowed purpose of compelling Congress to redress their 
wrongs. General Wayne confronted them with his loaded pistols, 
but, with their bayonets at his breast, they declared, " We love and 
respect you, but if you fire you are a dead man. We are not 
going to the enemy, as you would soon see if they should appear, 
for we should fight under you as bravely as ever." Clinton sent 
his agents among them offering heavy bounties lor desertion. 
The mutineers indignantly replied, " We are not Arnolds ! " and 
turned them over to Wayne, who, being a great favorite, was 
allowed to follow the march. On being tendered a reward for 
delivering up these spies, they replied, " We ask no pay for 
placing our country above its enemies ; we only demand justice 
in view of our past service and our necessities." 

Reed, then president of Pennsylvania, finally settled the diffi- 
culty by discharging those who professed to have served their 
time, the State making arrangements to pay and clothe the re- 


mainder. It was afterward found that the men had sworn falsely 
as to their terms of enlistment in order to secure their discharge. 

The New Jersey troops, encouraged by the success of the 
Pennsylvania line, followed the example. Washington imme- 
diately marched some New England regiments from West Point, 
which, being composed of " native Americans and freeholders, 
or sons of freeholders," remained true. The revolt was quickly 
subdued, and two of the mutineers were shot, their own com- 
panions being forced to act as executioners. 

In this emergency, an agent was sent to France in order to 
secure a loan. Yet, as Bancroft well remarks, that country was 
poorer in proportion to its population than the United States. 
All that was lacking here was a powerful government to organize 
the strength of the country. In February, Robert Morris was 
appointed financial agent, and by freely using his private credit 
he succeeded in restoring confidence in the promises of Congress 
to pay its honest debts. At his suggestion, the Bank of North 
America was established, and by careful management he was able 
to redeem its bills with gold whenever presented. 

March 1st of this year was a notable day. Maryland, the last 
of the thirteen States, then ratified the articles of confederation, 
thus consummating the Federal Union. 

The defeat of Gates at Camden was fatal to his ambition. 
Soon after, General Greene was appointed his successor, but 
subject to the orders of the commander-in-chief. Thus, for the 
first time, was the true position of Washington recognized. 
Light-Horse Harry with his legion, three hundred and fifty in 
number, was ordered to the Carolinas. Even this reinforcement 
could ill be spared. Greene, on his arrival, reorganized the army 
and established his camp at Cheraw, on the Pedee. Morgan, of 
whom we have not heard much since the brilliant day at Saratoga, 
was stationed with a thousand men near Broad River. 

An exploit of Lieutenant-Colonel Washington's now greatly 
encouraged the men. Scouring the country with a troop of light- 
horse, he came across a body of loyalists under the tory Colonel 
Rudgley. They were strongly posted in a large log barn, fortified 
by entrenchments and an abattis. Knowing the weak character 
of his opponent, Washington fixed a pine log — shaped and painted 
to look like a field-piece — on the front wheels of a wagon, dis- 
mounted part of his troops to appear like infantry, displayed his 
cavalry, leveled the deadly pine-cannon on the log castle, and 


then sent in a flag demanding instant surrender. The affrighted 
colonel begged for quarter, and surrendered his garrison of one 
hundred and twelve men at discretion. Cornwallis, mentioning 
the event in a letter to Tarleton, dryly added, " Rudgley will not 
be made a brigadier." 

In order to cut off Morgan, whose activity threatened his 
flank, Cornwallis ordered Tarleton to attack him in front, while he 
marched northward between the Broad and the Catawba Rivers, 
and severed his communications with Greene. Morgan awaited 
Tarleton's coming at the Cowpens, so called because of an enclo- 
sure at that place used by the neighboring farmers for herding 
their cattle, which in that mild climate roamed wild through the 
fields during the entire year. Before daylight on the morning 
of January 17th, being informed by his spies that Tarleton was 
near, he awakened his men, breakfasted, and then put them quietly 
in post. The British coming on impetuously, the militia who 
were in Morgan's front line yielded after a sharp resistance. The 
Continentals, however, stood firm. Being at length outflanked 
by the superior numbers of the enemy, they fell back to take a 
new position. The English, thinking the day their own, rushed 
forward, when, suddenly, the Americans faced about, poured in a 
terrible volley at only thirty yards distance, and then charged 
with the bayonet. The British were driven pell-mell. Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Washington, with his cavalry, kept up the pursuit for 
twenty miles. In the eagerness of the chase, he got far in advance 
of his regiment, when three officers wheeled upon him. Wash- 
ington owed his life to a sergeant who wounded one, and a little 
waiter-boy who shot a second. Tarleton, the third, is said to 
have been wounded by Washington himself. 

This defeat was a source of great mortification to Tarleton. 
He was occasionally reminded of it in a very disagreeable manner. 
At one time, after having indulged in much braggart talk about 
his own gallantry, he remarked to a whig lady : " I should like to 
see your far-famed hero, Colonel Washington." " Your wish, 
Colonel, might have been fairly gratified," was the prompt reply, 
" had you Ventured to look behind you after the battle at Cow- 
pens." A still more pointed retort was given him by a Mrs. Jones, 
to whom he observed, " I have been told that Colonel Washington 
is so ignorant a fellow that he can hardly write his own name." 
"Ah, Colonel," she replied, " but no one knows better than your- 
self that he can make his mark." 

J J78i 7 '] BATTLE OF COWPENS. 309 

The American loss at Cowpens was only seventy-two, while 
that of the English exceeded eight hundred, besides material of 
war. Cornwallis, hearing of the disaster, put his troops in light 
marching order, burned the baggage, himself setting the example, 
and started in hot haste to punish the victors and recapture the 
prisoners. Morgan, anticipating this, had destroyed what booty 
he could not carry off, and was already in full march for the 
Catawba. So keen, however, was Cornwallis's pursuit that the 
Americans had but just crossed the river when the British van ap- 
peared on the opposite bank. That night it rained heavily, and 
the water rose so high that the impatient Cornwallis was kept 
waiting till the third day. 

Meanwhile Greene joined his faithful lieutenant, and took com- 
mand. The main body of his army was ordered to meet him at 
Guilford Court-House, to which point he now hurried Morgan's 
men. At the Yadkin, just at eve, February 3d, the British advance 
was again on his heels ; but during the night the rain made the 
river unfordable. Heaven smiled on the patriots and they took 
heart. Cornwallis lost two days in going up the river to find a 
crossing. He was soon, however, again in full pursuit. Now 
began a race on parallel roads for the fords of the Dan — seventy 
miles away. Colonel Williams, with the flower of the light troops, 
covered the march. Greene reached the river first, and on the 
15th of February Cornwallis arrived only to find that the Amer- 
ican rear-guard had crossed in the darkness of the night before. 
Every face in the patriot army was lighted with joy when their 
escape was certain. Halting only for one meal per day, sleeping 
but six hours in forty-eight, with only a blanket for four men, 
shoeless and ragged, they had fairly beaten the enemy by out- 
running him. Greene himself, in his all-comprehensive care ol 
the army, had hardly slept four hours in as many days. 

One night during this famous retreat, Greene alighted at the 
Salisbury inn, after a hard day's ride through mud and rain 
The army physician, who had charge of the sick and wounded 
prisoners, met him at the door, and inquired after his well-being. 
" Fatigued, hungry, cold, and penniless," was the heavy-hearted 
reply. The patriotic landlady, Mrs. Elizabeth Steele, overheard 
the words. Lighting a cheerful fire, she spread a warm supper 
before him, and then, quietly producing two bags of specie, her 
hoarded treasure, " Take these," she said ; " you will want them, 
and I can do without them." It is hard to decide which was 



TFeb. 17-25, 
L 1781. 

the happier, the noble-hearted giver or the relieved receiver. 
Cheered and comforted, Greene renewed his journey with a 
lightened heart. 

The troops lay panting on the opposite sides of the river for a 
day. Cornwallis then fell back to Hillsborough. The waving of 


a handkerchief by a patriot woman, under the cover of the oppo- 
site bank, was the signal which announced his retreat. The 
tables were then quickly turned. Light troops at once recrossed 
the Dan, and Greene himself soon took the field. The British 
general wished to force him to battle, but for seven days Greene 
eluded him, each night changing his camp, though at no time 
over ten miles distant. Lee and Pickens constantly scoured the 
country, covering Greene's movements, obtaining accurate intel- 
ligence, and repressing the royalists. While hunting Tarleton 
through the woods beyond the Haw River, they fell in with a 
body of three hundred tories, who mistook them for the British. 
Lee rode down their line, congratulated them on their appear- 
ance, grasped their colonel by the hand, and was about to explain 


the true state of the case, and demand that they should go to 
their homes or join the patriots, when firing suddenly broke out. 
Lee was forced to charge, and ninety of the royalists were cut 
down, some of them while crying, " We are your friends. God 
save the king." 

March 15th, Greene, being reinforced, determined to give 
Cornwallis battle near Guilford Court-House. He had about 
three thousand six hundred men, nearly twice as many as his 
antagonist, but a large part were raw militia. The Americans 
were drawn up in three lines, several hundred yards apart ; the 
first being composed of North Carolina volunteers, the second of 
Virginia riflemen, and the third of Continentals. The British at 
once advanced to the charge. Half of the militia broke without 
firing a shot. Lee and Washington only, on the flanks, stood 
their ground long after the centre of their line was occupied by 
the enemy. The second line, riflemen used to backwoods fight- 
ing, held their position bravely till driven from it by the bayo- 
net. The Continentals fought stubbornly. At last the right 
seemed weakened, and Greene, not wishing to hazard anything, 
brought up his reserve to cover the retreat. The English were 
too exhausted to pursue. The American loss was four hundred 
and nineteen, and the British five hundred and seventy men. 
That night, with true generosity, the English cared for the 
wounded, friend and foe alike. But they were scattered through 
the woods, and the rain fell in torrents. Fifty sufferers died 
before morning. 

Now was exhibited a strange spectacle. The conqueror fled 
from his own victory. Cornwallis had lost over one-quarter of 
his men, and was forced to retreat with his weakened army. He 
accordingly retired toward Wilmington, whence, unwilling to fall 
back into the Carolinas, he concluded to march into Virginia and 
join the British troops already in that State. Greene decided not 
to follow him, but, leaving Virginia to its fate, to reconquer 
South Carolina. 

Lord Rawdon, in command of the British in that State, was at 
Camden, and thither Greene turned his course. Having en- 
camped on Hobkirk's Hill, only a mile from the enemy, he was 
attacked before he was fairly in position. He quickly made his 
arrangements, but a regiment in the centre giving way unac- 
countably, he was driven from his ground before Colonel Wash- 
ington, who with the cavalry was to fall on the enemy's rear, 


could reach the spot. Greene retired as usual, but not before 
inflicting a greater loss than he received. 

Meanwhile, the partisan leaders were busy. Marion and Lee 
laid siege to the fort on Wright's Bluff. Having no cannon, in 
one night they built a tower of logs, from the top of which the 
riflemen picked off the garrison, and so forced a surrender, April 
26th. This capture cut the communications of Camden with 
Charleston, and the former post was thereupon evacuated. They 
then attacked Fort Motte, on the Congaree. The British had 
here fortified and garrisoned the house of Mrs. Motte, an estima- 
ble whig woman. In order to dislodge the enemy, she brought 
to Lee a bow and a quiver of Indian arrows, with which he threw 
fire upon the shingled roof. The occupants could not fight the 
flames under the guns of the sharp-shooters, and were soon 
roasted into a capitulation. A little story is attached to the 
quiver of arrows which did such effective service. Mrs. Brew- 
ton, who was a guest of Mrs. Motte's, had caught it up in the 
moment of their forced departure, knowing it to be a valued 
keepsake in the family. As she was passing through the gate, 
Major McPherson, drawing out a shaft, applied it to his finger, 
saying, "What have you here, Mrs. Brewton?" "For God's 
sake, major, be careful," she replied ; " those arrows are poi- 
soned." It so chanced that, when applied to the purpose after- 
ward decided upon, the first one missed its aim and fell at the 
feet of the major. He took it up, angrily exclaiming, " I thank 
you, Mrs. Brewton." After the surrender, he immediately sought 
her out, and said, " To you, madame, I owe this disgrace ; it 
would have been more charitable to allow me to perish by poison, 
than to thus compel me to surrender my post to the enemy." 

Forts Orangeburg and Granby now yielded. Augusta was 
taken by Lee and Pickens the 5th of June. Greene, in person, 
endeavored to carry Ninety-Six by assault, but was repulsed, 
and Rawdon, receiving reinforcements, came to its rescue. 
Events then took the turn so common in Greene's experience. 
He retired as far as the Ennoree, when, the British giving over 
the pursuit, he followed them back, with Lee's Legion close on 
their heels, captured forty-eight dragoons within a mile of their 
camp, and, June 18th, offered Rawdon battle, which he declined. 
Greene then fell back to the " benign hills of Santee," as Lee 
lovingly calls them, to recruit his army. 

Greene, after leaving Ninety-Six, wished to communicate 


with Sumter, but the intervening country was full of tories, and 
no one was willing to undertake the perilous mission. At this 
moment a young German girl, Emily Geiger by name, volun- 
teered for the service. Greene entrusted her with a letter, at the 
same time informing her of its contents. Mounted on a swift 
horse, she had made one day's journey and was near the close of 
the next, when she was hailed by two tories, who arrested her on 
suspicion. While confined in a room, awaiting the woman who 
was sent to search her person, she tore up the letter and swal- 
lowed it piece by piece. Nothing being discovered by the ma- 
tron's careful investigation, she received many apologies for her 
detention, and was allowed to proceed. Thanks to Greene's cau- 
tion in acquainting her with the import of the written message, 
she was able to give Sumter the desired information, and Rawdon 
was soon flying before the Americans toward Orangeburg. 

Disgusted with the ill-success of his plans, that officer, on the 
pretence of poor health, soon returned to England. His last act 
in Charleston did much to embitter the feelings of the inhabitants 
of that city. At the time of its capture by the British, Colonel 
Isaac Hayne was paroled. He was afterward ordered into the 
British ranks, at a time when his wife and several of his children 
lay at the point of death with small-pox. The choice was given 
him to become a loyal subject or to be placed in close confine- 
ment. Agonized by thoughts of his dying family, he signed 'a 
pledge of allegiance to England, with the assurance that he should 
never be required to fight against his countrymen. Being again 
summoned by Lord Rawdon to join the British army, he con- 
sidered the pledge annulled, and raised a partisan band. He 
was captured, and, without being allowed a trial, was condemned 
to die. The citizens of Charleston vainly implored pardon for 
him. He was allowed forty-eight hours in which to take leave of 
his children, at the end of which time he was hanged. This bar- 
barous act left a stain on Rawdon's memory which time has only 
deepened. Retaliation was urgently demanded ; but the other 
British officers did not countenance his inhumanity, and milder 
measures prevailed. 

Colonel Stewart, left in command of the British, took post at 
Eutaw Springs, where Greene attacked him September 8th. 
Marion, Pickens, Sumter, Lee, Williams, Campbell, and Washing- 
ton won new honors on this desperately-fought field. The British 
were finally fairly beaten. In the moment of victory, Campbell 



L 1781. 

fell. Informed of the patriots' success, he exclaimed, like Wolfe 
at Quebec, " I die contented." 

On their retreat, however, one party of the enemy took 
refuge in a brick house, and another in a wood of barren oaks. 
Cannon were brought against the former, but the gunners were 
quickly picked off by riflemen ; Colonel Washington, rashly 
charging the latter without waiting for the infantry, was wounded 
and captured, and half his men fell in the useless struggle. 
Stewart during the delay rallied his fugitives, and Greene reluc- 

f m 



tantly drew off his men. One-quarter of the American army and 
one-fifth of the British were killed or wounded. Both sides 
claimed the victory. That night, however, the English retired to 

During the retreat, Manning, a noted soldier of Lee's legion, 
was in hot pursuit of the flying British, when he suddenly found 
himself surrounded by the enemy and not an American within 
forty rods. He did not hesitate, but, seizing an officer by the 
collar, and wresting his sword from him by main force, kept his 
body as a shield while, under a heavy fire, he rapidly backed off 
from the perilous neighborhood. The frightened British officer, 


when thus summarily captured, began immediately to enumerate 
his titles: " I am Sir Henry Barry, deputy adjutant-general, cap- 
tain in Fifty-second regiment," etc., etc. " Enough," interrupted 
his captor, " you are just the man I was looking for." 

While Colonel Washington was lying helpless under his fallen 
horse, a soldier was about to bayonet him, when Major Majora- 
banks rushed forward and saved his life. The gallant officer was 
himself afterward wounded, and died en route to Charleston. A 
marble monument, erected as a tribute to a generous enemy by 
the Ravenels, on whose plantation he was buried, now marks the 
spot. The flag borne by Washington's troop at this battle is still 
preserved, and was carried by the Washington Light Infantry 
of Charleston at the Bunker Hill Centennial celebration, June 
17, 1875. 

Greene had now been in command only nine months, but he 
had recovered all the South except Savannah, Charleston, and 
Wilmington. He had not gained a decided victory ; yet his 
defeats had all the effect of successes, and his very retreats 
strengthened the confidence of his men and weakened that of the 
enemy. In his own words, he was always able " to fight, get 
beaten, and fight again." 

Anxious to distinguish himself and burning with hatred, the 
traitor Arnold early led an expedition into Virginia. January 2d, 
he appeared in Chesapeake Bay. The State had no troops to im- 
pede his advance, with generous self-forgetfulness having sent her 
best soldiers to the help of her Southern sisters. At Guilford 
Court-House, nearly twenty-five hundred of her men had helped 
to stay the tide of British aggression. Arnold having burned 
Richmond without opposition, Lafayette was sent with twelve 
hundred men to check his progress. General Phillips, arriving 
from New York with a heavy reinforcement, took Arnold's place, 
and the work of devastation went on more vigorously than ever. 
Lafayette, with his small force, could do little. His men being 
fearful of the climate, he offered any who wished, a permit to go 
home ; but not one would leave him. A soldier, unable to keep 
up with the march, hired a cart lest he might seem to have de- 
serted. At Baltimore, Lafayette borrowed money to supply his 
men with shoes and hats, and to purchase linen, which the loyal 
women of that city made up into summer garments for them. 
Phillips died, and Cornwallis arriving from the Carolinas, Arnold 
was sent back to New York. 


In September, Arnold was detached against Connecticut, his 
native State. New London was pillaged and burned, the traitor 
himself, it is said, watching the fire from a church steeple. Fort 
Griswold was carried by assault. Colonel Ledyard, the com- 
mander, after a brave resistance, ordered his men to lay down 
their arms ; but still the slaughter did not cease. " Who com- 
mands here ? " called out Major Bromfield, a New Jersey tory, as 
he entered the works. " I did," said Ledyard, handing him his 
sword, " but you do now." With fiendish malignity, he seized 
the weapon and plunged it into the bosom of the heroic colonel. 
Seventy of the garrison were slain and thirty-five wounded. The 
yeomanry of the country were fast rising, and Arnold retreated to 
his boats to escape their vengeance. 

With this barbarous scene ended his career in this country. 
Execrated by his former friends and loathed by his new com- 
panions, even children learned to lisp his name with a shudder. 
It is said that while on his predatory excursions in Virginia, there 
being at one time a chance of his capture, he asked an officer, 
" How will the rebels treat me, do you think, should I fall into 
their hands?" " Pardon my frankness," was the reply, " but they 
will probably cut off the leg that was wounded in storming our 
lines at Saratoga, and bury it with the honors of war ; having no 
respect for the rest of your body, they will undoubtedly gibbet 
it." He carried to England a letter of introduction from Sir 
Henry Clinton to Lord Germain, but, although he was patronized 
by George III., he received abundant proofs of contempt from 
high-spirited noblemen. At one time, Lord Surrey rose to speak 
in parliament when, his eye resting on Arnold, he drew himself 
proudly up, and, pointing to the traitor, exclaimed, " I will not 
speak while that man is in the house ! " It is also related that, on 
being introduced to Earl Balcarras, the proud old Briton refused 
his hand, saying, as he haughtily turned away, " I know General 
Arnold, and I abominate traitors ! " Many other stories, true or 
false, are current, but all agree in showing how the blighting curse 
of his treason followed him to his death. " He saw," says Lester, 
" the infant republic he had betrayed, emerge from the gloom of 
her long struggle into wealth, power, and splendor ; and left it 
advancing on to empire as he went darkling down to a traitor's 
grave. He died in 1801, somewhere in the wilderness of London. 
Where he was buried, nobody has told." 

Cornwallis reached Petersburg May 20th. Never at rest, 

Ma |78 J |"' y '] CORNWALLIS IN VIRGINIA. 317 

though his army had marched at least fifteen hundred miles from 
their starting-point in South Carolina, within four days after his 
arrival he took the field against Lafayette. Despising the youth 
and inexperience of his adversary, he wrote to England, " The 
boy cannot escape me." The marquis, however, retreated from 
Richmond across the Rapidan, where he was reinforced by 
Wayne with the Pennsylvania troops. Cornwallis gave up the 
chase at Hanover Court-House, and contented himself with send- 
ing out a couple of detachments. 

Tarleton, with his cavalry, attempted the capture of the Vir- 
ginia Legislature at Charlottesville ; but the members received 
news of his coming, and all except seven escaped. Governor 
Jefferson had not been absent from his mansion at Monticello ten 
minutes when the dragoons dismounted at the door. Simcoe, 
who was second only to Tarleton as a dashing partisan leader, 
was directed to seize the stores collected at the Point of Fork. 
By judiciously spreading his men over the neighboring hills, he 
deceived Baron Steuben, who was stationed there with about six 
hundred new levies, into the belief that the whole British army 
was at hand. The baron accordingly decamped hastily, and the 
English, crossing the river, destroyed the stores. 

Cornwallis now placed himself between Lafayette and the 
magazines at Albemarle Old Court-House. But the Marquis, 
during the night, opened what was known as the " Rogues' Road " 
— a wilderness path, by which absconding debtors had been wont 
to escape to the South — and, before morning, had taken a strong 
position, where he could defend the place. Cornwallis then 
turned toward Williamsburg. Here he received orders from 
Clinton to send three thousand men to New York, as there were 
great fears that Washington, by the aid of the French fleet and 
troops at Newport, would attack that city. Setting out July 4th, 
for Portsmouth, the royal army reached the Jamestown ford. 
Ordering only the advance to cross, Cornwallis hid his main camp 
back of the woods and morasses, and, by means of deserters, gave 
the impression that merely the rear-guard remained on the left 
bank. Wayne fell into the snare, traversed a narrow log cause- 
way, and attacked the enemy. The whole British army sprang 
up before him, and he was at once outflanked. " Mad Anthony," 
seeing his peril, sounded the charge, and dashed forward with 
headlong courage. Lafayette came to his rescue. The enemy, 
overawed by the apparent confidence of the Americans, feared a 


stratagem, and dared not pursue. The Americans fell back to 
Green Springs, and Cornwallis continued on to Portsmouth un- 

Clinton, having received reinforcements from England, coun- 
termanded the order for troops from Virginia, and directed Corn- 
wallis to establish an entrenched camp at some central point which 
would form a nucleus for future operations. The army was ac- 
cordingly transferred to Yorktown and Gloucester, where fortifi- 
cations were rapidly thrown up. 

During this midsummer campaign, Cornwallis had traversed 
the rich fields of Virginia, plundering houses, burning farms and 
fences, devastating crops, seizing horses and slaves, and inflicting 
a total loss of fifteen million dollars. 

The French-American army under Washington and Count de 
Rochambeau was now encamped at Dobb's Ferry. Every effort 
was put forth to prepare for a combined attack upon New York. 
While he had maintained a bold front before Clinton, Washington 
had really, however, been baffled on every hand. At one time 
there were only two thousand men in camp, a number less than 
that of the tories then in the British service. There was danger 
of even this small force being disbanded for lack of provisions. 
All the American fleet had been destroyed except two frigates. 
" Hancock," says Bancroft, " was vain and neglectful of business, 
while the president of Pennsylvania was more ready to recount 
what the State had done than what it meant to do." Morris now 
once more came to the rescue. By giving his own notes for one 
million four hundred thousand dollars, he obtained funds for the 
outfit of the troops for the summer campaign. 

The news of the departure from San Domingo for the Chesa- 
peake of Count de Grasse, with a fleet of twenty-five ships-of- 
the-line and several thousand troops, put a new phase on affairs. 
The very day Cornwallis arrived at Yorktown, Washington re- 
solved to transfer the allied army to Virginia. To the last the 
fiction was kept up of a movement upon New York. Recon- 
noissances were made, boats prepared, and ovens set up on the 
New Jersey shore. On the 19th of August the troops were 
paraded with their faces toward King's Bridge, when they were 
wheeled to the right-about, and began their march southward. 
Soon all the roads leading to King's Ferry were alive with the 
gleam of arms, the tramping of men, and the heavy rumbling of 
wheels. Clinton had captured a letter from Washington inform- 

Aug ' mTl? Ct " 5 '] INVESTMENT OF YORKTOWN. 319 

ing Congress of his plans for taking New York, and so much was 
it relied upon that the British general thought these movements a 
ruse to throw him off his guard. At Philadelphia, Morris could 
strain his credit no more, and actually borrowed of Rochambeau 
twenty thousand dollars in hard money to put the American troops 
in good humor for their long march. While en route, Washing- 
ton rode forward with Rochambeau and Chastellux at the rate of 
sixty miles per day, and so secured time to stop at Mount Vernon 
three days. It was his first visit home in over six years. 

The net was fast weaving about the unsuspecting Cornwallis. 
August 30th, Count de Grasse cast anchor within the capes of the 
Chesapeake. September 5th, the English fleet appearing off the 
coast, the French immediately offered battle, and inflicted such 
a loss that the enemy sailed back to New York. De Barras took 
advantage of this opportunity to slip in with the French transports 
from Newport containing the artillery for the siege. On the 28th, 
the allied army, sixteen thousand strong, drove in the outposts 
and sat down before the entrenchments of Yorktown. That night 
Washington lay in the open air under a mulberry tree, its root 
serving for a pillow. October 5th, trenches were opened within 
six hundred yards of the enemy's line — the French on the left and 
the Americans on the right. 

In the allied camp there were the utmost harmony and good- 
will. The French were universal favorites, and everything was 
cheerfully sacrificed for them — the guests of the nation — while 
their officers, by the wise provision of Louis XVI., were all made 
to act under the orders of Washington. 

The town was bombarded night and day. Governor Nelson 
commanded the battery that opened first upon the British. Corn- 
wallis and his staff were at that time occupying the governor's 
fine stone mansion. The patriot pointed one of his heaviest guns 
directly toward the house, and ordered the gunners to play upon 
it with spirit. The vessels in the harbor were fired with red-hot 
shot. For a time the English replied with great vigor. One shell 
fell near Baron Steuben, who, leaping into a trench to avoid its 
effects, was closely followed by Wayne. The latter stumbling as 
he jumped, fell squarely upon his superior officer. Steuben, whose 
ready wit never deserted him, gave Wayne not a moment for 
apology, but remarked, " My dear sir, I always knew you were 
a brave officer, but I see you are perfect in every point of duty ;' 
you cover your general's retreat in the best manner possible." 



roct. 14, 

L 1781. 


I 1 ,C ri ' 1 ol-OUCEST£ ft 

K^^< P0,NT 

,4fr XlBSs 

On the 14th, two advanced redoubts were taken by assault — ore 
by the Americans and the other by the French, in generous rivalry. 
The former were led by Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, who volun- 
teered for the honor, and was the first to mount the rampart. The 
men did not wait to remove the abattis, but scrambled through as 
best they could, and, without firing a gun, swept all before them. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Laurens turned the entrenchment, and with 
his own hand captured the commandant. Every man who asked 
it obtained quarter, although the news of the massacre at Fort 
Griswold had just been received. The battalion of Gatinois was 
at the head of the French column. It had been formed from a 
regiment which had won the name of UAuvergne sans tache — 

Auvergne without a stain — and when 
Rochambeau, who had been their old 
leader, assigned them their post, they 
said they would die to a man if their 
former title might be restored to them. 
The French stopped under fire to 
have the sappers remove the obstruc- 
tions. Then they leaped forward, 
and to the cry of " Vive le Roi ! " swept 
the redoubt. Within six minutes the 
task was done. " On that night," says Holmes, " victory twined 
double garlands around the banners of France and America." 

Washington, standing in the grand battery with Generals 
Knox and Lincoln, was an intensely excited spectator of these 
assaults. One of his aides-de-camp, uneasy lest harm might come 
to him, ventured to observe that the situation was very much ex- 
posed. " If you think so," replied he, gravely, " you are at liberty 
to step back." Shortly afterward, says Irving, a musket-ball 
struck the cannon in the embrasure, rolled along it, and fell at 
his feet. General Knox grasped his arm. " My dear general," 
exclaimed he, " we can't spare you yet." " It is a spent ball," 
replied Washington, quietly ; " no harm is done." When all was 
over, and the redoubts were taken, he drew a long breath, and, 
turning to Knox, observed, " The work is done, and well done." 
Then he called to his servant, " William, bring me my horse." 

The same night both redoubts were included within the 
second parallel. Two days after, the English made a sally, but 
were driven back pell-mell. As a last resort, Cornwallis attempted 
to ferry his men across by night to Gloucester, hoping to break 


Battery. •? 

» ' Morass 

$*> ) - Field of 

8u rrender 

French ~, \\ l - K ~^ orn \P 

Artillery «„ /^..-r^i 

Heart Lhinrtpvft - [ >- ' 

Head Quarts 

.J?, Head Quarters 

Oct. 19, 1 
1781. J 



through the lines there, and escape over the country to New York. 
A part of his army had crossed, when a storm scattered his boats 
and put an end to this daring scheme. One hundred heavy can- 
non were now playing upon every part of the works, which were 
already so damaged that hardly a gun could be used in reply. 
An assault was imminent. Nothing was heard from Clinton, who 
had promised aid by the 5th. There was no other resource, and 
on the 19th Cornwallis capitulated. 

The scene of the surrender was imposing. It was arranged 
that General Lincoln should accept the submission of the captive 
general exactly as his own had been received at Charleston 


eighteen months before. The allied forces were drawn up on op- 
posite sides of the road for over a mile, the French on the left and 
the Americans on the right. Washington and Rochambeau, each 
with his staff, stood at the head of his army. The English, about 
seven thousand in number, marched between the lines, with slow 
step, shouldered arms, and cased colors. With deep chagrin and 
sullen look, the officers gave the order to " ground arms " ; the 
men throwing down their guns as if to break them, until General 
Lincoln checked the irregularity. Every eye was turned to 
catch a sight of Cornwallis, but, vexed and annoyed, he feigned 
sickness, and sent his sword by the hand of General O'Hara. 


" From Yorktown's ruins, ranked and still, 
Two lines stretch far o'er vale and hill : 
Who curbs his steed at head of one ? 
Hark ! the low murmur : Washington ! 
Who bends his keen, approving glance 
Where down the gorgeous line of France 
Shine knightly star and plume of snow? 
Thou too art victor, Rochambeau ! 

" The earth which bears this calm array 
Shook with the war-charge yesterday ; 
Ploughed deep with hurrying hoof and wheel, 
Shot down and bladed thick with steel ; 
October's clear and noonday sun 
Paled in the breath-smoke of the gun ; 
And down night's double blackness fell, 
Like a dropped star, the blazing shell. 

" Now all is hushed : the gleaming lines 
Stand moveless as the neighboring pines ; 
While through them, sullen, grim, and slow, 
The conquered hosts of England go : 
O'Hara's brow belies his dress, 
Gay Tarleton's troop ride bannerless : 
Shout, from thy fired and wasted homes, 
Thy scourge, Virginia, captive comes ! " — Whittier. 

The very day the capitulation was signed, Clinton sailed from 
New York with the promised reinforcement. He reached the 
capes of Virginia on the 24th, when, learning of the disaster, he 
returned crestfallen. 

Tidings of the surrender reached Philadelphia at the dead 
of night. The people were awakened by the watchman's cry, 
" Past two o'clock, and Cornwallis is taken ! " Lights flashed 
through the houses, and soon the streets were thronged with 
crowds eager to learn the glad news. Some were speechless 
with delight ; many wept ; and the old door-keeper of Congress 
died of joy. Congress met at an early hour, and that afternoon 
marched in solemn procession to the Lutheran church to return 
thanks to Almighty God. The day after, Washington ordered 
Divine service to be held at the head of the regiments on account 
of the " particular interposition of Providence on their behalf." 

Notwithstanding the great provocations which had been given 
by Cornwallis and his officers, they received only consideration 
and respect at the hands of their conquerors. But nothing could 
atone to the fallen British general for the mortification of his de- 

1781-1783.] END OF THE WAR. 323 

feat. One day, when he was standing with his hat off in presence 
of Washington, the latter kindly observed : " My lord, you had 
better be covered from the cold." " It matters not what becomes 
of this head now," was the bitter reply. 

Lord North received the news as he would " a cannon-ball in 
his breast." He paced the room, tossing his arms, and crying, 
" O God ! it is all over ! " The hope of subduing America was 
now abandoned by the people of England, and they loudly de- 
manded the removal of the ministers who still counseled war. 
The House of Commons voted that whoever advised the king to 
continue hostilities should be considered a public enemy. Early 
in May, 1782, Sir Guy Carleton arrived in New York with prop- 
ositions for a reconciliation between the two countries. 

The struggle which commenced in Massachusetts had now 
closed in Virginia. With the surrender at Yorktown, the war 
was virtually at an end. The American armies still, however, 
kept the field, and various minor skirmishes occurred. Greene's 
men, without regular food, clothing or pay, held the British 
closely confined in Charleston ; while Wayne guarded the garri- 
son in Augusta with watchful vigilance. In August, 1782, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Laurens was killed at Combahee Ferry while 
resisting the advance of a foraging detachment from Charleston. 
The last blood shed in the Revolution is said to have been that of 
Captain Wilmot, in September, during a skirmish at Stono Ferry. 

Preliminary articles of peace were signed at Versailles, No- 
vember 30, 1782. In order to give England time to adjust her 
difficulties with France, the final treaty was not executed until 
September 3d of the following year. Meanwhile, on April 19th, 
the eighth anniversary of the battle of Lexington, which began 
the war, Washington, at the headquarters of the army, officially 
proclaimed its close. Charleston had been evacuated by the 
British, December 14, 1782, and Savannah, July 11, 1783. The 
English troops were then collected at New York from all points. 
On November 25th— a cold, frosty day— the British army and the 
refugees embarked in boats for Staten and Long Islands, prepara- 
tory to taking ship. The same morning, General Knox, who had 
come down from West Point with some American troops, entered 
the city from the Bowery. At three o'clock in the afternoon, 
they took possession of Fort George, upon the Battery, amid the 
shouts of the crowd and the roar of the guns. 

Soon after, Washington and his staff and Governor Clinton 




and suite made a formal entry ; the commander-in-chief raking up 
his headquarters at Fraunces's Tavern — a house still standing on 
the corner of Pearl and Broad streets. Here, December 4th, 
Washington bade farewell to his principal officers. It was a 
tender, touching scene. Passing thence, he set out to offer his 
commission to Congress. When he entered the barge, and, bid- 
ding adieu to the assembled multitude, disappeared from sight, 
the War of the Revolution ceased and a new epoch dawned. 





HE first twenty 
years of the ex- 
istence of the 
United States as a nation, or 
rather the period from the time 
of the treaty of peace with Great Bri- 
tain until the end of the eighteenth 
century, was the most important of 
any the country has yet seen. The 
close of the Revolutionary War left the 
States like a citadel overthrown — its 
proportions destroyed, its material scattered, without cohe- 
sion, almost, if not quite, a complete ruin. It was to be shown 
whether or not the eminent men who had been so successful in 



overturning, would be equally so in building up ; it being a 
question for some time, not whether a structure was to arise 
stronger, fairer, and better than the older one, but whether there 
was to be any rebuilding at all. 

The situation was peculiar, unlike any other that the history 
of the world had shown. Most, if not all, the nations of the earth 
had grown up by degrees from small beginnings. Here was one 
that was to spring into existence, a first-class power almost from 
its birth. The material was ready at hand and far removed from 
the influence or control of the older nations. The event showed 
that, as God had prepared the work, so had He laborers compe- 
tent to perform it. They builded, and builded even stronger than 
they knew. 

On the 23d of December, less than a month after the evacua- 
tion of New York, Washington resigned his commission as com- 
mander-in-chief of the army and returned to his home at Mount 
Vernon. He had given many proofs of his patriotism, but one of 
the greatest was his refusal to receive any compensation for his 
eight years of service at the head of the army. It detracts 
nothing from the quality of the sentiment involved that, being 
rich through his marriage with Mrs. Custis, he could afford this 
gift to his country. He simply asked the reimbursement of his 
expenses, an exact account of which he had kept, drawn up by his 
own hand, and now presented to the government. 

The situation of affairs, although peace had now come, was by 
no means flattering to the future of the States. The Articles of 
Confederation, under which they had been acting during the war, 
were mere shadows unless sustained by a common danger or the 
entire willingness of all concerned. In case of any conflict of 
interest, they were ineffective for adjustment or control. They 
gave Congress authority to declare everything, but to do noth- 
ing. They did not act at all upon the people of the country, 
except through the several States, and it depended entirely upon 
the Legislatures whether the measures adopted by Congress 
should be carried out. Many of them were silently disregarded ; 
many were slowly and reluctantly obeyed ; and some were openly 
and boldly defied. 

In all matters of commerce, either domestic or foreign, Con- 
gress was powerless. Each State made its own regulations, and 
consequently the most opposite rules existed at points within a 
few miles of each other. Local prejudices were aroused and 


intensified, and resentments continually excited. Indeed, feeling 
in many instances ran so high that civil war seemed imminent. 
Foreign nations, although acknowledging the independence of 
the States, were not backward in taking advantage of their weak- 
ness and the distracted condition of their legislation, imposing 
upon the trade and navigation of the country such restrictions as 
best suited their own interests. 

But this apathy and opposition were especially felt when 
money was to be raised for general purposes. Congress could 
not itself collect the taxes. It could only ascertain the sum 
needed, and apportion it to the several States for them to levy. 
During the war, there was great delay in responding to these 
requisitions; but after peace was declared, there was an utter 
indifference on the subject. Notwithstanding the most urgent 
appeals from the best men of the country, it seemed impossible to 
procure even enough money to pay the interest on the national 
debt, and the public faith was consequently prostrate. 

In fact, the poverty of the public treasury, together with the 
feebleness and apathy of Congress, threatened the very existence 
of the government even before the army was disbanded. The 
troops were not paid, and the condition of those patriotic men 
who had won the freedom of the country was most lamentable. 
While Washington was yet at his headquarters at Newburg 
(March 10, 1783), an anonymous address was distributed among 
his soldiers. It was plainly but skillfully put, urging them not to 
disband, but to overthrow the civil authorities and seize upon their 
rights. Washington was even asked to assume the title of king 
and grasp the reins of government himself. The calmness and 
honesty of the Father of his Country were never more grandly 
shown than at this moment of peril in thwarting the plans of these 
earnest, but misguided men. A touching incident took place 
just before he commenced the reading of his memorable address 
upon this occasion. He removed his spectacles to wipe them, 
and, turning to those around him, said, " My eyes have grown 
dim in the service of my country, but I have never yet learned to 
doubt her justice." Washington finally secured a grant of five 
years full pay to the officers, instead of half pay for life, and the 
whole matter was happily adjusted. 

Lossing relates an incident of Steuben which illustrates both 
the extreme poverty of the army at this period, and the gener- 
osity of " Marshal Forritz," as his men loved to call him, from 





his foreign pronunciation of the command " Forward ! " " Colonel 
Cochrane was standing in the street, penniless, when Steuben 
tried to comfort him by saying that better times would come. 
' For myself,' said the brave officer, ' I can stand it ; but my wife 
and daughters are in the garret of that wretched tavern, and I 
have nowhere to carry them, nor even money to remove them.' 
The baron's generous heart was touched, and, though poor him- 
self, he hastened to the family of Cochrane, poured the whole 
contents of his purse upon the table, and left as suddenly as he 
had entered. As he was walking toward the wharf, a wounded 
negro soldier came up to him, bitterly lamenting that he had no 
means with which to get to New York. The baron borrowed a 
dollar, and, handing it to him, hailed a sloop and put him on 
board. ' God Almighty bless you, baron ! ' said the negro, as 
his benefactor walked away." 

In the apportionment among the States of the taxes to meet 
the interest or a portion of the principal of the debt — now about 
forty-four million dollars — it was discovered that the basis of their 
quotas had not been justly laid. The standard had been the 
value of the real estate, instead of the relative population of the 
several States. To correct this error, Congress suggested that 
there should be an amendment to the Articles of Confederation. 
During the discussion, there arose a question as to the relative 
efficiency of white and colored men in the production of wealth. 


By what reasoning the decision was at length reached, at this 
point of time it is difficult to determine: but in April, 1783, the 
States were asked to so amend the Articles of Confederation, that, 
in enumerating their population for purposes of taxation, three 
white men should equal five negroes. This was subsequently 
incorporated in the second section of the new Constitution, deli- 
cately alluding to the slaves as " three-fifths of all other persons." 

For two years after the peace, the States dragged along, grow- 
ing poorer and poorer every day ; getting further and further 
from one another in sentiment, feeling, and interest ; clinging to 
their State pride and jealousy with a tenacity that showed that 
the Confederation must soon expire of pure inanity. 

In 1785, the States of Maryland and Virginia appointed com- 
missioners to make some regulations relative to the navigation 
of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac and Roanoke Rivers. 
Finding its powers inadequate, the committee recommended more 
extended proceedings. The resolution embodying their sugges- 
tions was drawn up and presented by James Madison of Virginia, 
whence he has been styled the " Father of the Constitution." 

This recommendation resulted in an invitation by the Legisla- 
ture of Virginia to all the States to appoint commissioners for the 
purpose of establishing a uniform system of commercial relations. 
Delegates from five States accordingly met at Annapolis, Sep- 
tember, 1786, and framed a report advising Congress to call a 
general convention for a more effectual revision of the Articles of 
Confederation. The body thus appointed assembled at Philadel- 
phia, May, 1787, all the States except Rhode Island being repre- 
sented. George Washington was chosen president and William 
Jackson secretary. 

The territory of the United States at this time comprised that 
vast region between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River 
on the east and the west, and between the chain of lakes and the 
St. Lawrence River and the thirty-first parallel of north latitude 
on the north and the south. Northwest of the Ohio River was a 
large territory to which several of the States had a claim, as it 
lay within their original charter limits, which extended from ocean 
to ocean. They had, however, ceded their rights to the United 
States for the common benefit. During the year 1787, Congress 
passed an ordinance which has become famous. It provided for 
the government of the Northwestern Territory, as it was called, 
until certain designated parts should possess sixty thousand inhab- 




itants, when they were to be admitted as States. It also ordered 
that " slavery or involuntary servitude, except for crime," was to 
be forever prohibited therein. 

The " Constitutional Convention " contained many remarkable 
men. Among them, were Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman, and 
C liver Ellsworth, of Connecticut ; Gunning Bedford and George 
Read, of Delaware; William Few and Abraham Baldwin, of 
Georgia ; Daniel Carroll, James McHenry, and Luther Martin, of 

Maryland ; Caleb Strong, Elbridge Gerry, and Rufus King, of 
Massachusetts ; John Langdon and Nicholas Gilman, of New 
Hampshire ; Jonathan Dayton, William Livingston, and William 
Patterson, of New Jersey ; John Lansing, Robert Yates, and Alex- 
ander Hamilton, of New York ; Robert Morris, Gouverneur Mor- 
ris, and Benjamin Franklin, of Pennsylvania ; John Rutledge, Pierce 
Butler, Charles Pinckney, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of 
South Carolina ; Edmund Randolph, George Mason, James Madi- 
son, and George Washington, of Virginia. 

Oliver Ellsworth, while in the senate, was called the " firmest 
pillar of Washington's administration," and was subsequently ap- 
pointed Chief-Justice of the United States. From Elbridge Gerry 
came the term " gerry-mandering," or the so arranging of districts 
that one or the other political party should gain the majority. 


Rufus King was three times a candidate for the Vice-Presidency. 
Robert Morris was the patriot financier who rendered such 
valuable service during the Revolution. But though " heaven- 
directed " in public matters, he was most unfortunate in his pri- 
vate concerns. As an instance : he commenced, in Philadelphia, 
the erection of a magnificent marble mansion, the grounds of 
which were to occupy an entire square. The cellar was three 
stories in depth, and the arches and vaults were so labyrinthine 
that visitors were often lost among them. Before the building 
had reached the second story, funds failed, and the project was 
abandoned. Much of the material was taken to erect a row of 
houses on Sansom Street, some of which are still standing. 

It was soon evident that a mere revision of the Articles of Con- 
federation would not satisfy many of the delegates. They there- 
upon set themselves to the task of originating an entirely new 
form of government. At first, the notion of a Union, National 
instead of Federative, was uppermost — a natural swinging of the 
pendulum to the opposite extreme ; — but a happy medium was 
finally struck, in which the advantages of a consolidated nation 
were secured, and the benefits of State rights retained. The New 
Constitution was signed September 17, 1787. 

It was to go into effect March 4, 1789, between any nine of 
the States which should then have adopted it. Delaware, Penn- 
sylvania, and New Jersey ratified it the same year. It was ac- 
cepted the next year by the other States, except North Carolina 
and Rhode Island, which followed in 1789 and 1790 respectively. 

The adoption of the Constitution was not secured without 
great opposition. It was powerfully sustained by James Madison, 
Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, in a series of papers called 
the " Federalist," which take rank as a literary performance with 
the celebrated letters of "Junius." Patrick Henry was bittcrl 
hostile to the new form of government. Even Jefferson himself is 
reported to have said, somewhat in derision, that the executive it 
established " was the chief of an elective monarchy, a bad edition 
of a Polish king." James Monroe, George Mason, and William 
Grayson, though strong in opposing, became prominent under it 
when it went into operation. 

Presidential elections were held in every State ratifying the 
Constitution, except in New York, where the legislature, owing to 
a disagreement between its two branches, omitted to pass a law 
dictating the mode of choosing electors. The ten States voting 


gave sixty-nine electoral votes, all for George Washington ; John 
Adams received thirty-four, and was declared Vice-President. 
At that time the electors voted for two persons ; the one receiv- 
ing the highest number being chosen President, and the next 
highest, Vice-President. A majority of the whole number was 
required for the former, but not for the latter. Adams, although 
receiving the greatest number of votes, next to Washington, was 
elected Vice-President by a minority. 

April 16th, Washington left Mount Vernon for New York, the 
seat of government. He desired to journey quietly and unosten- 
tatiously, but the public feeling was too strong to be suppressed. 
The entire route was one spontaneous ovation. Crowds flocked 
around him wherever he stopped : and corps of militia, with com- 
panies of the most eminent citizens, escorted him through their 
respective States. At Trenton, he was received by a vast throng 
and a magnificent demonstration, in which figured garlands of 
flowers and triumphal arches, and young girls chanting with their 
silvery voices praises to the chief of the Republic. A print of 
this reception — truthful in design if not artistic in execution — for 
more than seventy-five years was one of the most popular engrav- 
ings issued. The Hudson River was crossed in an elegant thirteen- 
oared barge, manned by as many pilots, symbolical of the thirteen 

The ceremonies of the inauguration took place on the 30th 
in Federal Hall, a building standing where the Sub-Treasury is 
now located. Robert Livingston, Chancellor of the State of New 
York, administered the oath in the presence of a large concourse 
of people, who shouted at its conclusion, " Long live Washington, 
President of the United States." The inaugural address was 
then delivered, and replied to on behalf of the Senate by John 
Adams, and on the part of the House by Frederick A. Muhlen- 
berg, the first Speaker. 

Notwithstanding the magnificence of the inaugural display, 
the simplicity of the President's private life is well attested. A 
letter, written by Judge Wingate and still preserved, gives an 
account of Washington's first public dinner. " The guests con- 
sisted of the Vice-President, the foreign ministers, the heads 
of departments, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 
the senators from New Hampshire and Georgia, the then two 
most northern and southern States. It was the least showy 
meal that I ever saw at the President's table. Washington made 




his whole meal on a boiled leg of mutton, it being his custom to 
eat of but one dish. As there was no chaplain present, the Presi- 
dent himself, as he was sitting down, said a very short grace. 
After the dessert, a glass of wine was passed, and no toast. The 
President then arose and all the company, and retired to the 
drawing-room, from which the guests departed as every one 
chose, without ceremony." 

The first session of the First Constitutional Congress was 
largely occupied in getting the machinery of the government into 
working order. The subjects of commerce and finance, and the 

Randolph. Hamilton. 



organization of subordinate departments and the judiciary, also 
demanded attention. There were nominated by the President and 
confirmed by the Senate : Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of For- 
eign Affairs (afterward known as Secretary of State) ; Alexander 
Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury ; Henry Knox, Secretary of 
War, and Edmund Randolph, Attorney-General. These officers 
formed what is called the " President's Cabinet " — a body unknown 
to the Constitution. John Jay was appointed Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court, with John Rutledge of South Carolina, James 
Wilson of Pennsylvania, Robert H. Harrison of Maryland, and 
John Blair of Virginia, associates. The appointing power of the 


President now came under earnest and excited consideration, 
and it was determined that, while it was constitutionally subject 
to the assent of the Senate, the power of removal rested with him 

Sixteen articles of amendment to the Constitution were ap- 
proved by Congress and sent to the States, only ten of which, 
however, were ratified. The most important were those which 
related to religious toleration, the right to bear arms, unrea- 
sonable searches of property or homes, a speedy trial by jury, 
and to the declaration that the powers not delegated to the 
United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the 
States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people. 

The last article was drawn to quiet the apprehensions of the 
" strict constructionists," as they were called, who feared lest the 
power of the government should be unduly centralized. Even in 
the Constitutional Convention political parties had arisen. Well- 
defined lines were not drawn, however, until the meeting of Con- 
gress. One party desired to hold the government to the exact 
letter of the Constitution. These were called " Republicans," 
and sometimes " Democrats." The other, or " Federalist," 
wished to enlarge the powers of the government by inference and 
implication. The first exercise of the veto power by the Presi- 
dent, which occurred during this session, brought out the dis- 
tinction clearly. It was on a bill fixing the ratio of representation 
by counting all the people of the States as one mass, instead of 
the population of each State severally. The veto was sustained 
by Congress, a subsequent bill on the latter-named principle being 
passed, which is yet in operation. 

Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, be- 
came the most prominent man of the Cabinet. He was born in the 
Isle of St. Croix, West Indies. When only twelve years old, he 
was entrusted with the entire responsibility of a large shipping- 
house. At fourteen, he came to the United States and entered 
King's College. Early in the Revolution, he raised a company of 
artillery, but was soon made an aide-de-camp, and won the honor 
of being called " the right arm of the commander-in-chief." At 
the conclusion of the war, he commenced the practice of law in 
New York City, where he at once rose to distinction. 

The chief features of Hamilton's financial policy were the 
assumption by the general government of the war debt of the 
several States, and the payment of the indebtedness of the country 


dollar for dollar, although a large proportion of the claims was 
in the hands of speculators. These measures met with bitter op- 
position, but their adoption was secured by certain compromises, 
one of which tended to allay the jealousy of the Southern people 
toward New England. This was the transfer of the seat of gov- 
ernment to Philadelphia until 1800, when it was to be permanently 
located upon the eastern bank of the Potomac. 

The third session of the First Congress was accordingly held 
at Philadelphia on the first Monday of December, 1790. At this 
time the United States Bank was established, and also a national 
mint. Both were schemes of General Hamilton, and tended 
greatly to advance the prosperity of the country. 

During the year 1790, the Indians, both at the South and in 
the Northwestern Territory, gave the government much trouble. 
Some of the Southern chiefs were induced to visit New York, 
where a treaty was signed, by which a considerable portion of the 
territory of Georgia was relinquished to them, much to the dis- 
content of that State. General Harmar, a veteran of the Revolu- 
tion, being sent to repel the hostile savages at the Northwest, was 
twice defeated — October 17th and 22d — near Chillicothe. General 
St. Clair was appointed to succeed him. Leaving Fort Washing- 
ton with about two thousand men (September, 1791), he entered 
the wilderness, where, notwithstanding the repeated cautions of 
the President to " beware of a surprise," he was caught off his 
guard, and his army routed with great slaughter. 

In the fall of 1793, " Mad Anthony " Wayne took the field with 
nearly three thousand men. He built Fort Recovery, near the 
scene of St. Clair's disaster, where he spent the winter. In the 
summer, moving down the Maumee, on the 20th of August he de- 
feated the Indians in a severely-fought battle. Laying waste their 
country, he compelled them to sue for peace. By the treaty sub- 
sequently made, the Indian title to large tracts west of the Ohio 
was extinguished. 

The Second Congress, which held its first session October, 
1 79 1, passed laws providing for a uniform militia system ; a bounty 
to vessels employed in the fisheries ; an apportionment of repre- 
sentation in Congress, the ratio being fixed at thirty-three thou- 
sand for each representative ; and an excise law, imposing a duty 
on domestic distilled spirits. The last occasioned no little alarm, 
especially in the valley of the Monongahela, where whiskey was 
the principal article of commerce. The disaffection there assumed 


such proportions that it received the name of the " Whiskey Re- 
bellion." The President was compelled to call out the militia, 
fifteen thousand strong, which speedily quelled the uprising. 

Although Washington desired to decline a renomination, he 
finally yielded to the earnest wish of his friends. Party spirit ran 
very high during the second Presidential campaign, the lines be- 
tween the friends of Hamilton and Jefferson, the two great lead- 
ers of the Federalists and the Republicans, being sharply drawn. 
Washington, however, received the unanimous vote of the elec- 
coral college, one hundred and thirty-two. Adams, having seventy- 
seven votes, was elected Vice-President. 

The French Revolution was now at its height, and its influ- 
ence was strongly felt in the United States. The representative 
of France in this country was Edmund Charles Genet, better 
known as " Citizen Genet," a brother of the famous Madame 
Campan. He landed at Charleston, South Carolina, in April, 
1793, but before presenting his credentials to the government, he 
fitted out privateers and enlisted troops for the French service. 
He was everywhere enthusiastically received by the people, who 
demanded that their old ally should be assisted and war forthwith 
declared against Great Britain. This feeling was intensified from 
the fact that England still held possession of the forts on the 
frontier, which, by the treaty of 1783, were to have been given 
up ; while American vessels were seized in French ports, and 
American seamen impressed into English vessels. It required all 
the popularity of Washington to stem the tide and hold the gov- 
ernment to the neutrality which he had proclaimed. 

A satisfactory treaty was finally arranged with Great Britain 
by a special envoy, John Jay. It was not considered favorable 
to the United States, as one of its provisions secured to British 
citizens the payment of debts due them before the war. Party 
animosity was inflamed. The Federalists were claimed to have 
been bought by British gold. Washington was accused of being 
an enemy of his country and reproached in language such, as he 
said, could scarcely be " applied to Nero, a notorious defaulter, or 
even a common pickpocket." Fisher Ames of Massachusetts 
made a memorable speech in Congress in behalf of the treaty. 
Vice-President Adams thus described it in a letter to his wife: 
"Judge Iredell and I happened to sit together. Our feelings beat 
in unison. ' My God ! how great he is,' says Iredell. ' Noble ! ' 
said I. ' Bless my stars! ' continued he, ' I never heard anything 


so great since I was born.' ' Divine ! ' said I ; and then we went 
on with our interjections, not to say tears, to the end — not a dry 
eye in the House." The treaty was ratified, in spite of all oppo- 
sition, April 30, 1796. 

Genet, being superseded by his government, remained, how- 
ever, in this country, and married a daughter of George Clinton. 
He introduced into the United States the idea of democratic 
societies, similar to the Jacobin clubs of Paris. One of these was 
the " Columbian Order," or, as it was afterward styled, the 
" Tammany Society," organized by an Irishman named William 

Two important treaties were concluded in 1795. One, with 
Spain, settled definitely the boundaries between the United States, 
Louisiana and Florida, and gave the right to navigate the Missis- 
sippi, and to use New Orleans as a place of deposit for ten 
years. The other, with Algiers, was not quite so advantageous 
or agreeable to contemplate. The Dey of Algiers had heard of 
the new nation which had a commerce, but no navy to protect it. 
He, therefore, with his corsairs, unhesitatingly pounced upon our 
merchantmen. Within eight years they had captured fifteen 
American vessels and made one hundred and eighty officers and 
seamen slaves. A commissioner, sent to confer with the Dey, 
received the naive reply : " If I were to make peace with every- 
body, what should I do with my corsairs? My soldiers would 
take off my head for want of other prizes." Colonel David Hum- 
phreys of Connecticut, who had the matter in charge, wrote to 
the government, saying, " If we mean to have a commerce, we 
must have a navy to defend it." Congress thereupon, in 1794, 
authorized the purchase or construction of six frigates. Mean- 
while, a most humiliating treaty was made with the Dey. The 
United States actually agreed to give eight hundred thousand 
dollars for the captives then alive, to make him a present of a 
frigate worth one hundred thousand dollars, and to pay an annual 
tribute of twenty-three thousand dollars. 

Three new States were received into the Union during Wash- 
ington's term of office. Vermont, the fourteenth State, was admit- 
ted to the Union on the 4th of March, 1791. The first settlement 
within its border was in the vicinitv of Brattleborough, in 1724. 
The territory was claimed by both New York and New Hamp- 
shire, and a bitter conflict arose in consequence. The jurisdiction 
was decided by the crown to belong to the former State ; but the 




inhabitants, dissatisfied with this decision, for many years carried 
on an armed strife with the New York authorities. One of the 
most prominent leaders in the contest was Colonel Ethan Allen, a 
man of marked characteristics, who wielded a powerful influence 
over his fellow-citizens. 

The bill admitting Kentucky, the fifteenth State, was passed 
February 4th, 1792. Its early history is inti- 
mately connected with the career of Daniel 
Boone, one of the most famous of hunters 
and frontiersmen. He was born in Bucks 
county, Pennsylvania, in 1735, but spent his 
youth and early manhood in North 
Carolina. In 1769, with five compan- 
ions, he penetrated the wilderness to 
the west of Virginia, where the perils 
he underwent among the Indians form 
a most exciting personal history. In 
1775, he founded Boonesborough. This 
village and Harrodsburgh, also settled 

about the same 
time, were the 

two oldest towns in 
the West, with the 
exception of a few 
French places on the 
Mississippi. Ken- 


tucky was then made 

a county of Virginia. In 1790, it was formed into a separate 
Territory. On its becoming a State, Boone, on account of a 
defective title, was unable to hold his land, and removed to Mis- 
souri, where he died in 1821. "Kentucky afterward reclaimed 
his bones, and those of his wife," says Bancroft, " and now they 
lie buried on the hill above the cliffs of the Kentucky River, over- 
looking the lovely valley of the capital of that commonwealth. 
Around them are emblems of wilderness life ; the turf of the 
blue grass lies lightly above them ; and they are laid with their 
faces turned upward and westward, and their feet toward the 
setting sun." 


Tennessee, the sixteenth State, was admitted to the Union June 
1, 1796. The first settlement was made near Knoxville in 1756, 
and Nashville was founded in 1783. It was, originally, a portion 
of North Carolina, but was ceded to the general government in 
1784. The inhabitants claimed that the cession was an act of 
usurpation done by their brethren to accomplish a " good rid- 
dance," as it were, of poor relations. They declared themselves 
independent, and set up a government of their own, calling their 
country the " State of Franklin." North Carolina thereupon re- 
pealed the Cession Act, but the people of the new State, intent 
upon realizing their dreams of future greatness, adopted a consti- 
tution and elected members to the legislative bodies. General 
John Sevier, or Xavier, for he was of French descent, was chosen 
governor. Early in life, he had settled on the East Tennessee, 
where he had so many conflicts with the Indians, followed by so 
many compacts, that he acquired the name of the treaty-maker. 
The manner in which he gained a wife has hardly a parallel in the 
romance of matrimony. While in command of a small stockade 
fort on the Watauga River, and in hourly expectation of an attack 
from the Cherokee Indians under " Old Abraham," a noted chief, 
he heard the crack of a rifle, and, looking up, saw a tall, slender 
girl running toward the fort, closely pursued by the savages. 
They cut off her approach to the gate, but she leaped the pali- 
sades, and, exhausted, fell into the arms of Captain Sevier. Her 
name was Catherine Sherrill, the acknowledged belle and beauty 
of that region. She became the loving and loved wife of the cap- 
tain, and the mother of ten children. 

The financial affairs of the ''State of Franklin" were on too 
unsound a basis to promise long life. Its money was made up of 
certain domestic manufactures and the skins of wild animals. The 
salaries of the officials were measured in a manner that had the 
merit, at least, of novelty. Those of the governor, officers of 
state, and judges were rated at so many fox-skins ; and those of 
the sheriffs, constables, and other inferior officers at so many 
mink-skins. This was all well enough until some skillful counter- 
feiter sewed the tails of valuable animals upon the skins of worth- 
less ones, and brought discredit upon the whole currency. 

The disagreement between North Carolina and the would-be 
State threatened war, when, opportunely, there appeared a mes- 
senger of peace and good-will, the venerable Bishop Asbury, of 
the Methodist Church, who had come to attend the first confer- 


ence ever held west of the Mountains. The precepts he taught 
converted many bitter partisans into brethren and friends. In 
1790, a territorial government being organized, Sevier was elected 
to Congress, the first representative of the vast region west of the 
great mountains. 

In September, 1796, Washington, definitely declining to serve 
a third term, presented to his fellow-citizens his " Farewell Ad- 
dress." It crowned, in a fitting manner, an illustrious life, and its 
sentiments of patriotism and its sagacious political maxims will 
remain as a legacy to his countrymen through future generations. 

The candidates of the Federal party at the succeeding election 
were Adams for President and Thomas Pinckney for Vice-Presi- 
dent. The Republican, or Democratic, nominee for President 
was Thomas Jefferson ; for Vice-President, the most prominent 
was Colonel Aaron Burr. 

While the election was pending, the new minister from France, 
M. Adet, addressed to the Secretary of State, and at the same time 
published in the newspapers, a letter, which once more compli- 
cated our relations with his country. He reproached the United 
States for violation of treaty obligations, and with ingratitude 
toward France and partiality toward England. He also an- 
nounced that he had been directed to suspend his ministerial 
functions with the United States. 

Of the one hundred and thirty-eight electoral votes cast, John 
Adams received seventy-one, and Thomas Jefferson sixty-eight. 
They were therefore declared elected President and Vice-Presi- 
dent respectively. 

Washington was present at their inauguration on the 4th of 
March, 1797, and then withdrew to Mount Vernon, to spend the 
remainder of his days in retirement. His administration had 
been attended with a success hardly dreamed of at the beginning. 
Public and private credit had been restored, and ample provision 
made for the security and ultimate payment of the public debt ; 
commerce had wonderfully increased ; American tonnage had 
nearly doubled ; the products of agriculture found a ready mar- 
ket ; exports had risen from nineteen million dollars to fifty-six 
million dollars, and the imports had increased in about the same 

Some of the social observances originating in the time of Pres- 
ident Washington have been adhered to during successive ad- 
ministrations. They were marked for their simplicity and dignity, 




although coming under the ban of those who objected even to the 
minutiae of the conduct of the Republic. Every Tuesday after- 
noon, Washington gave formal levees, where considerable cere- 
mony was required. One who was present on several of these 
occasions has left an account of them. They were held in the 
dining-room of the modest house occupied b} cue President, from 
which all seats had been removed for the time, and commenced at 
three o'clock. On entering, the 
visitor saw the tall, manly 
figure of Washington, clad 
in black silk velvet, his 
hair powdered and 
gathered behind in 
a large silk bag ; 
yellow gloves on 
his hands, and hold- 
ing a cocked -hat 
with a black cock- 


ade, and the edges adorned with a black feather about an inch 
deep. He wore knee and shoe buckles, and a long sword. He 
stood always in front of the fireplace, with his face toward the 
door of entrance. The visitor was conducted to him, and his 
name distinctly announced. Washington received him with a 
dignified bow, avoiding to shake hands, even with his best 
friends. As visitors came, they formed a circle round the room. 
At a quarter past three the door closed, when the President began 
on the right, and spoke to each person, calling him by name, and 
exchanging a few words. Having finished the circuit, he resumed 
his first position, and the visitors approaching him in succession, 
bowed and retired. Within an hour the ceremony was over. 
Washington's deportment was uniformly grave ; it being sobriety, 


stopping just short of sadness. His presence inspired a venera- 
tion and a feeling of awe, rarely experienced in the company of 
any man. 

Mrs. Washington's levees, at which there were less form 
and ceremony, were held every Friday evening, the General 
being always present. 

Patrick Henry was one of those who objected to any display 
by the President. He was offered several positions under the 
government, but declined, saying that his habits of life unfitted 
him to mingle with those who were now aping the manners of a 

John Adams, the second President of the United States, was 
born in Quincy, Massachusetts, October 19, 1735. He was a grad- 
uate of Harvard College, and a lawyer by profession. He was 
an indefatigable worker, and during the three years and three 
months he served in the Continental Congress he was a member 
of ninety and chairman of twenty-five committees. He was of 
middle stature, full person, and was bald on the top of his head. 
His countenance beamed with intelligence, and with moral as 
well as physical courage. His walk was firm and dignified, and 
his manner slow and deliberate. He was a man of the purest 
morals, and a firm believer in Christianity — not from habit, but 
from a diligent investigation of its proofs. 

Adams retained the cabinet left by Washington, viz. : Timothy 
Pickering, Secretary of State ; Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the 
Treasury ; James Mc Henry, Secretary of War ; and Charles Lee, 
Attorney-General. There were but few marked features in the 
remaining years of the eighteenth century. The most impor- 
tant events were connected with the threatened difficulty with 
France. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the American minister, 
had been dismissed by that government, and orders had been 
issued for the French marine to prey upon American com- 
merce. An extra session of Congress was thereupon called, 
and Elbridge Gerry, John Marshall, and Charles Cotesworth 
Pinckney were appointed envoys to France to make a new at- 
tempt at conciliation. They were met by insulting proposals, 
being required to bribe the members of the Directory at the 
rate of two hundred and forty thousand dollars each. This 
proposition was indignantly rejected. Marshall and Pinckney 
were soon dismissed, and Gerry was afterward recalled by our 
government. Great excitement was aroused in the United States, 




and the motto, " Millions for defence, not a cent for tribute," was 
repeated with universal enthusiasm. Congress remained in ses- 
sion from November 13th to July 16th — over eight months. Com- 
mercial intercourse with France was suspended ; a regular army 
was ordered to be raised, and a navy department organized ; 
Benjamin Stoddart, of Maryland, was appointed first secretary ; 
and General Washington was placed at the head of the army, 
Alexander Hamilton being selected by him as the active com- 

Fortunately, there was no need for their services ; the only 
warlike demonstrations on the part of the United States being the 
capture, by the frigate Constella- 
tion, Commodore Truxton, of the 
French war-vessels LTnsurgent and 
La Vengeance. In 1799, Napoleon 
Buonaparte became First Consul 
of France, and with him, his broth- 
er, Joseph Buonaparte, acting as 
one of the commissioners, the 
United States made an amicable 
settlement (1800). 

In the summer of 1798, owing 
to the violent denunciations of 
the government by the friends of 
France, Congress passed the 
"Alien and Sedition Laws." The 

former act gave the President authority to order any foreigner, 
whom he might believe dangerous to the peace, to depart out of 
the country, under a very heavy penalty for disobedience. It also 
extended the period required for naturalization to fourteen years. 
The Sedition law made it a crime for any one to " write, print, 
utter, or publish any false, scandalous or malicious" statement 
against either Congress or the President. A number of promi- 
nent men were tried under these acts. The harshness with which 
they were treated inflamed the public mind to a high pitch against 
the Federals, and served to render the administration of Adams 
exceedingly unpopular. The legislatures of Kentucky and Vir- 
ginia passed denunciatory resolutions, which became the corner- 
stones of the growing Democratic party. 

On the 14th of December, 1799, occurred the death of General 
Washington at Mount Vernon. The news plunged the country 



into the deepest grief, and throughout its borders, in city and ham- 
let, there were manifestations of the public sorrow by solemn ser- 
vices, by the adjournment of all public bodies, and by glowing 
eulogies on the character and services of the deceased. His 
remains were deposited in a family vault on the banks of the 
Potomac, where they still lie entombed. 

In the summer of 1800, the seat of the government was re- 
moved to the District of Columbia, and here, on the 22d of 
November, Congress assembled and was addressed by Adam* 
for the last time, as President. The capital was then a strange 
conglomeration of splendid buildings, half finished, and wretched 
huts. Mrs. Adams writes as follows: " I arrived in Washington 
on Sunday last, without meeting any accident worth noticing, 
except losing ourselves when we left Baltimore and going eight 
or nine miles on the Fredericksburgh road, by which mistake we 
were obliged to go the other eight miles through the woods, 
where we wandered two hours without finding a guide or path. 
But woods are all you see from Baltimore until you reach this 
city, which is only so in name." Only one wing of the Capitol 
had been erected ; the " White House " was a mere barrack. 
Near by was a structure built for the Treasury Department, but 
it was so small that it did not afford comfortable room for the 
clerical force, then fifty in number. The records were deposited in 
a building known as Sear's Store, which soon after burned, and 
the documents, many of them of great value, were destroyed. 

A single packet-sloop brought all the office furniture of the 
several departments from Philadelphia, besides the " seven large 
boxes and four or five smaller ones," which contained the archives 
of the government. 

A quaint traveler of the period, speaking of the society of the 
capital, thus writes : " I obtained accommodations at the Wash- 
ington Tavern, which stands opposite the Treasury. At this 
tavern I took my meals, where there were to be found, every day, 
a number of clerks employed in the different offices of the govern- 
ment, together with about half a dozen Virginians and a few New 
England men. There was a perpetual conflict between these 
southern and northern men, and one night I was present at a 
vehement discussion that ended in a bet." 

In the fall of 1800, occurred the third presidential election. 
The candidates of the Federal party were John Adams for Presi- 
dent and Charles C. Pinckney for Vice-President. The candi- 


dates of the Republicans were Thomas Jefferson and Colonel 
Aaron Burr. It was a very heated political contest, and resulted 
in seventy-three votes for Jefferson ; seventy-three for Burr ; 
sixty-five for Adams, and sixty-four for Pinckney. There being 
a tie, the election was to be decided by the House of Representa- 
tives, as provided by the Constitution. 

The eighteenth century closed with a population in the United 
States of five million three hundred and five thousand nine hun- 
dred and twenty-five. There was every prospect of continued 
prosperity and peace. The masses, contented and happy, pur- 
sued their avocations with a certainty of protection and safety 
under the laws. The administration of Adams, now just ending, 
had secured the respect of nations abroad, if it had not gained 
the popularity of the people at home. 

Among the many interests which had an independent origin 
during the first twenty years of the republic, were notably several 
of the churches. The Methodists had an existence, though not 
an organization, in the country as early as 1776, there being at 
that time a number of ministers of this denomination in the colo- 
nies. The members of this church suffered considerably during 
the Revolution from what was thought to be an undue partiality 
to England, owing to their connection with the Wesleyan Church 
in that country. In 1784, Dr. Coke was sent over from England 
as superintendent by Wesley, and a formal organization soon 
followed. In that year, this body numbered forty -three preachers 
and thirteen thousand seven hundred and forty members. 

The Presbyterian Church, having been seriously interrupted 
by the Revolutionary War, was reorganized in 1788. It had then 
one hundred and eighty-four ministers and four hundred and 
thirty-five churches. The following year, the first general assem- 
bly was held in Philadelphia. 

In September, 1785, the Episcopal Church was organized in 
the United States, its first Bishop being Rev. Samuel Seabury, 
D.D., who was consecrated in Scotland in 1784 as Bishop of 

In 1786, the Roman Catholic Church may be said to have been 
founded in the United States, as, in that year, Rev. John Carroll 
was appointed Vicar-General by the Pope, and took up his official 
residence at Baltimore. In 1789, he was consecrated as the first 
Roman Catholic Bishop of the country. 

The Unitarians, as a sect, appeared first in 1787, a number 


during that year seceding from the Episcopal Church _n New 
England. In 1794, Dr. Joseph Priestley came to America, from 
which date may be reckoned the growth of this denomination. 

Though the commerce of the country was well established, 
only a mere glimpse of its rich mineral resources and its agricul- 
tural capabilities had yet been obtained. The immense coal- 
fields of Pennsylvania had been discovered, and small quantities 
of coal had been sent to market at Philadelphia, but its use was 
not understood, and it was finally broken up and used to mend 
the roads. Cotton-seed was brought to Georgia from the Bahamas 
in 1786, and its cultivation commenced immediately. The cotton- 
gin of Eli Whitney, patented in 1794, increased its production 
many fold, while the Arkwright machine for the manufacture of 
cotton, a model of which was brought to this country by one of 
his apprentices named Slater, still further tended to its exten- 
sive cultivation. The first cotton-mill in the United States was 
erected at Beverly, Massachusetts, in 1787. 

Mackenzie gives an interesting account of the origin of the 
cotton-gin : " In 1768, Richard Arkwright invented a machine for 
spinning cotton, vastly superior to anything hitherto in use. Next 
year, a greater than he, James Watt, announced a grander inven- 
tion, his steam-engine. England was now ready to begin her great 
work of weaving cotton for the world ; but where was the cotton 
to be found ? Three or four years before Watt patented his 
engine and Arkwright his spinning-frame, there was born in a 
New England farm-house a boy whose work was needed to com- 
plete theirs. Eli Whitney was a born mechanic. It was a neces- 
sity of his nature to invent and construct. As a mere child he 
made nails, pins, and walking-canes by novel processes, and thus 
earned money to support himself at college. In 1792, he went to 
Georgia to visit Mrs. Greene, the widow of General Greene of 
Revolutionary memory. In that primitive society, where few of 
the comforts of civilized life were yet enjoyed, no visits were so 
like those of the angels as the visits of a skillful mechanic. Eli 
constructed marvelous amusements for Mrs. Greene's children. 
He overcame all household difficulties by some ingenious con- 
trivance. Mrs. Greene learned to wonder at him, and to believe 
nothing was impossible for him. One day she entertained a party 
of her neighbors. The conversation turned upon the sorrows of 
the planter, and that unhappy tenacity with which the seeds of 
the cotton adhered to the fibre was elaborately bemoaned. With 


an urgent demand from England for cotton, with boundless lands 
which grew nothing so well as cotton, it was hard to be so utterly 
baffled. Mrs. Greene had unlimited faith in her friend Eli. She 
begged him to invent a machine which should separate the seeds 
of cotton from the fibre. 

" Eli had never even seen cotton in seed. He, however, 
walked to Savannah, and there obtained a quantity of uncleaned 
cotton. Returning, he shut himself in his room, and brooded 
over the difficulty which he had undertaken to conquer. All that 
winter he labored, devising, hammering, building up. rejecting, 
beginning afresh. He had no help. He could not even buy 
tools, but had to make them with his own hands. At length hi? 
machine was completed, rude, but effective. Mrs. Greene invited 
the leading men of the State to her house, and conducted them in 
triumph to the building in which it stood. The owners of un- 
profitable cotton-lands looked on, with a wild flash of hope light- 
ing up their desponding hearts. Possibilities of untold wealth to 
each of them lay in that clumsy structure. The machine was put 
in motion. It was evident to all that it could perform the work 
of hundreds of men. Eli had gained a great victory for man- 
kind. In that rude log-hut of Georgia, Cotton was crowned 
King, and a new era was opened for America and the world." 

During the Revolutionary struggle, as we have seen, the true 
patriots suffered every inconvenience and privation in order to 
assist the grand result. Sage and raspberry leaves substituted a 
beverage in place of imported tea. Coffee and chocolate, sugar 
and all kinds of spices disappeared from country towns. Salt 
was scarce, and salt-pans were settled along the sea-coast, where 
it was made at expensive rates. Women sometimes hid small 
quantities in their pockets, and thus smuggled it into the country. 
The mills being dismantled by both parties, people in Virginia 
and elsewhere were forced to live on pounded corn. Yet, amidst 
the almost universal distress, there were exceptions of comfort 
and even luxury. There were degrees of patriotism, and love of 
self sometimes dominated over love of country. It is related that 
certain women, not having the self-denial to do without their 
favorite beverage, had tea surreptitiously served to them in the 
hot-water jug, the empty coffee-pot standing by its side, to be 
sent out, in case of unexpected guests, for a supply of hastily- 
steeped sage or raspberry leaves. 

During Washington's administration, soon after the advent of 


Citizen Genet, numbers of French people, especially those living 
in the West Indies, flocked to America. Although they mingled 
but little socially with Americans, their manners were servilely 
copied by a certain set, much to the disgust of the staid and sober 
worthies of the time. The term " French airs," as a sobriquet 
of contempt, had its origin among the respectable conservatives, 
who felt outraged by the new dispensation of fashion. 

Now came in garments of a loose flowing exterior, which, as a 
quaint writer has observed, " left it impossible to make any mis- 
take as to the real symmetry of the figures of our belles." The 
stiff", hooped petticoats, high, towering head-dresses, and com- 
pressed waists, gave place quickly to scant skirts, hair arranged 
after the manner of the Goddess of Liberty, and a style of gar- 
ment known as that of the " First Empire," very short as to the 
waist, with low corsage, and a skirt reaching scarcely to the 
ankle. At this time first appeared what are called pantaloons, in 
distinction to breeches and stockings. They were garments with 
feet on them, fitted close to the leg and let into the shoes. But 
the American gentlemen, less subject to change than their fair 
sisters, in their cocked-hats, silver-set buckles, broad-skirted 
coats, black velvet small-clothes, and silk stockings, regarded the 
new apparel with seeming contempt, and it was more than twenty 
years before they could be brought to adopt a style that finally 
led to the wearing of the present bifurcated garments. 

To the French, at this time, are we indebted for confectioneries 
and bonbons, jewelry and trinkets, and an entire change in our 
notions of dancing and music. They introduced the use of the 
piano, and created a love for other musical instruments, the violin 
and the clarionet, while they taught us the beauties of orchestral 
and concerted singing. The staid, measured English dances, 
stately, dignified, and monotonous, gave way to the lively quad- 
rille or cotillion, with its frequent and rapid changes. Gold 
watches and gilded frames for pictures and mirrors came in with 
them. They established public baths and transferred the liking 
for cleanliness from the house and its surroundings to the person. 
They taught us, in our table diet, to use soups, salads, sweet oil, 
tomatoes, and ragouts, and brought with them our first notions of 
mattresses and high bedsteads. If they did not succeed in mak- 
ing the United States their allies in the war then waging, they 
did more — they conquered the people in their homes, and their 
dominion in the world of fashion continues to this dav. 


Gold-headed canes and gold snuff-boxes were still particularly 
delighted in by old gentlemen. It was fashionable to proffer a 
stranger or an acquaintance a friendly pinch of snuff, and if the 
box was of peculiar elegance in design or material, so much 
oftener was it brought out. It is said of Silas Deane, that he had 
one glittering with diamonds, a present from royalty, which he 
was exceedingly fond of displaying. His friends often bantered 
him on the subject, and Charles Thomson, who knew him well, 
once broke out into a full laugh at the persistency with which the 
old gentleman urged it upon his notice. 

Wigs for men and caps for women disappeared near the close 
of the century. The wearing of boots was first commenced about 
this time, two prominent styles being called after the famous 
generals, Suwarrow and Wellington. " I remember," says a 
writer, " my first pair of Suwarrows. They made a part of the 
great equipment with which I came from college into the world. 
Four skeins of silk did I purchase of a mercer, and equal expense 
did I incur with the sweeper for aid in twisting them into tassels. 
I would incur double the expense now to have the same feeling 
of dignity that I enjoyed then when walking in those boots. I 
stepped long and slowly, and the iron heels, which it pleased me 
to set firmly on the pavement, made a greater clatter than a troop 
of horse, " shod with felt." But if I wore them with pride, it was 
not without suffering, nor did I get myself into them without 
labor. Before I attempted to draw them on, I rubbed the inside 
with soap and powdered my instep and heel with flour. I next 
drew the handles of two forks through the straps, lest they should 
cut my fingers, and then commenced the ' tug of war.' I con- 
tracted myself into the form of a chicken trussed for the spit, and 
whatever patience and perseverance Providence had given me I 
tested to the utmost. I cursed Suwarrow for a Scythian, and 
wished his boots ' hung in their own straps.' I danced around 
the room upon one foot many times, and, after several intervals 
for respiration and pious ejaculation, I succeeded in getting my 
toes into trouble, or, I may say, purgatory. Corns I had, as 
many as the most fanatic pilgrim would desire for peas in his 
shoes, yet I walked through the crowd (who were probably 
admiring their own boots too much to bestow a thought upon 
mine) as if I were a carpet-knight, capering upon rose-leaves. I 
was in torment, yet there was not a cloud upon my brow. I 
could not have suffered for principle as I suffered for those mem- 


orable boots. The coat I wore was such as fashion enjoined ; the 
skirts were long and narrow, like a swallow's tail, two-thirds at 
least of the whole length. The portion above the waist composed 
the other third. The waist was directly beneath the shoulders ; 
the collar was a huge roll reaching above the ears, and there were 
two lines of brilliant buttons in front. There were nineteen but- 
tons in a row. The pantaloons (over which I wore the boots) 
were of non-elastic corduroy. It would be unjust to the tailor to 
say that they were fitted like my skin ; they sat a great deal 
closer. When I took them off, my legs were like fluted pillars, 
grooved with the cords of the pantaloons." 

Gentlemen at this time wore no beard, whiskers, or mustaches, 
but invariably appeared with faces as clean-shaven and smooth as 
that of a girl, a full beard being held as an abomination, and fitted 
only for the Hessians, heathen or Turks. 

In 1793, the first cigars were smoked in this country, being 
used in that year in Philadelphia as a preventive of the yellow 
fever, which raged with considerable violence. 

Independence in political feeling was a leaven which soon 
communicated itself to social relations. The distinction in man- 
ner and in dress between different classes, heretofore so marked 
as to be instantly recognized, now speedily disappeared. Ser- 
vants became domestics or " helps," and the titles master and 
mistress, which had been formerly always observed, grew to be 
confined only to the holders of negro slaves. Equality in legal 
rights seemed to be understood as applying to all other concerns 
in life. The maid-servant discarded her short-gown and petti- 
coats, and copied the dress of her mistress both in style and 
material, as far as her purse would allow. The apprentice began 
to blush at his leather apron and breeches and his baize vest, and 
supplied himself, at second-hand or otherwise, with the fac-simile 
of his master's visiting suit. The title of Mr., from being a distin- 
guished honor, grew to be the essential accompaniment of every 
name, until it has finally been given indiscriminately to every 
male in the land, and to omit it, when speaking of a great man, is 
a sign of distinction. 

So rapidly did the new ideas spread, and so marked was their 
effect, that Lafayette, on his second visit to this country, asked 
with astonishment, " But where are the people? " He saw only 
crowds of well-dressed citizens, and sought in vain for the distinc- 
tions which were in force during his previous sojourn here. 


About this time carpets began to supersede the curved and 
figured white sand. They were used, however, to cover only a 
portion of the floor, in the centre of the apartment. The unaccus- 
tomed visitor sometimes showed signs of genuine distress at being 
obliged to walk on them, and sought, by stealing closely along 
the wall, to avoid soiling the beautiful thing upon the floor. 

Large, deep fireplaces were still the rule. Facing their well- 
controlled and unvarying heat, the housewives would bake such 
pastry, bread, and biscuits in their open tin ovens as can now 
hardly be matched ; while before them were turned to a crisp 
brown the Johnny or " Journey " cakes that had been thrown in 
lumps from some distance upon a broad board, and by their own 
cohesion stuck fast until done. Dr. Franklin had invented a stove 
which, as fuel grew scarce, had gradually been coming into use, 
although a wise and thoughtful physician had named it " Frank- 
lin's little demon." The walls of the houses and the ceilings 
were whitewashed, and only among the most wealthy could be 
seen the paper hangings just introduced. 

The lighting of the houses, but a dim illumination at the best, 
was accomplished by means of candles. Among the very wealthy, 
wax ones were occasionally seen, but the most common in use were 
of tallow dipped or run in moulds, and were set in brass or copper 
candlesticks. An Argand lamp, in which was burned whale-oil, 
was a rare luxury. Thomas Jefferson brought the first one from 
abroad near the close of the century, and presented it to his friend, 
Charles Thomson. 




( HE people having failed to elect a 
President, the House of Repre- 
sentatives, on the nth of Febru- 
ary, 1 801, began to ballot therefor. 
The first count showed eight 
States for Jefferson, six for Burr, 
and two divided. By the popu- 
lar vote, there had been a decided 
majority in favor of Jefferson, but 
the " Federalist " party had the 
greater number of States in the 
House, and seemed to be deter- 
mined to defeat the people's will. 
Nineteen ballots gave the same result, the House remaining in 
session all night. On the next day, there were nine ballots and 
no choice. On the 13th, one ballot was had; on the 14th, four; 
on the 16th, one — all with the same result. On the 17th, two 
ballots were cast, and on the latter one — the thirty-sixth in all — 
Jefferson was elected President, and Burr, Vice-President. 

March 4, 1801, the third President took the oath of office, 
which was administered to him by the eminent statesman, John 
Marshall of Virginia, Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

Jefferson was born in Albemarle county, Virginia, on the 
2d of April, 1743. He graduated at William and Mary College, 
and fitted for the bar, where his fees during the first year of 
his practice amounted to over three thousand dollars. In 1774, 
he published a powerful pamphlet, entitled "A Summary View of 
the Rights of British America." This was republished in Great 
Britain under the auspices of Burke. Jefferson was the author 


of the Declaration of Independence. The room which he occu- 
pied, the desk at which he sat, and the house that sheltered him 
while employed in its composition, are still pointed out in Phila- 
delphia. To Jefferson we are also indebted for the system of 
coinage now in use, with the dollar as a unit and the other denom- 
inations on a decimal basis, he giving them their several names. 
In 1784, he wrote a little work, which was greatly admired, called 
" Notes on Virginia," in reply to certain questions put by a French 
gentleman, embracing a general view of his State, its geography, 
government, etc. While Vice-President under Washington, he 
prepared, at his favorite retreat, Monticello, a manual for the 
Senate, which became the standard for Congress, as well as for 
other deliberative bodies. 

In person, Jefferson was six feet two inches in height, thin, but 
well formed, erect in his carriage, and imposing in his appearance. 
His complexion was fair: his hair, originally red, became in old 
age white and silvery ; his eyes were light-blue, sparkling with in- 
telligence and beaming with philanthropy ; his nose was large, his 
forehead broad, and his whole countenance indicative of great sensi- 
bility and profound thought. Though of aristocratic birth, he was 
intensely democratic. He eschewed breeches and wore panta- 
loons ; fastened his shoes with leather strings instead of buckles ; 
abolished the Presidential levees ; concealed his birthday to 
prevent its being celebrated, as the President's had been hitherto ; 
and even disliked the term, Mister. Washington went to the 
Capitol in a magnificently -decorated carriage drawn by four 
cream-colored horses, and with servants in livery. Jefferson rode 
thither alone, on horseback, hitched his horse to a post, and, going 
in, delivered a fifteen-minutes address. After that he merely sent 
his " message " by a secretary, as has been the custom ever since. 
John Jay, in lamenting this tendency to republican simplicity, 
says that " with small clothes and breeches, the high tone of 
society departed." 

The new cabinet was composed of James Madison, Secretary 
of State; Henry Dearborn of Massachusetts, Secretary of War; 
and Levi Lincoln of Massachusetts, Attorney-General. Robert 
Smith of Maryland soon after succeeded Benjamin Stoddart as 
Secretary of the Navy, and Alber': Gallatin of Pennsylvania fol- 
lowed Samuel Dexter as Secretary of the Treasury — the latter 
two officers having been retained for a short time from Adams's 





Albert Gallatin is 
r»*t*;n vonnected, in the 
financial history of our 
country with Robert 
Morris nnd Alexan- 
der HaruVon. These 

three were the founders of the monetary policy of the Repub- 
lic. When Gallatin came into the cabinet, he was directed by 
the Preside, ir to scrutinize with great care the accounts of the 
government, w order to discover the blunders and alleged frauds 
of Hamilton, and to ascertain what charges could be made 
against him. T^e direction was obeyed very thoroughly, as the 
new Secretary, having no great regard for the leading Federalist, 
came to his task with a good appetite. Struck by the almost 
absolute perfectioL of the system of the first head of his depart- 
ment, as revealed by the examination, Gallatin reported to the 
President that any change would injure it, and that Hamilton 
had made no blunders and committed no frauds. 

Such a report was worthy to come from one who, having ren- 
dered some service to Mr. Baring in the negotiation of a loan to 
France, and being offered some shares which, without advancing 


a penny, would have realized him a fortune, made this memorable 
reply : " I thank you, but I will not accept your obliging offer, 
because a man who has had the direction of the finances of his 
country as long as I have, should not die rich." In this connec- 
tion it is worth remembering that Hamilton, while Secretary of 
the Treasury, once sent a note to a friend, in which he begged the 
loan of twenty dollars for his personal use. 

Jefferson's accession to office was a complete revolution in the 
politics of the country, peacefully, but none the less thoroughly 
effected. The party he represented had been organized under his 
auspices during the administration of Washington. It claimed the 
name of Republican, while its opponents called it Democratic, a 
word recently introduced from France. That term involving the 
looseness, almost licentiousness of character which had marked the 
Jacobins of Paris, it was seldom used or countenanced by Jeffer- 
son. But, as often happens, this appellation given in derision be- 
came a talisman and a watchword. 

Various other nicknames have been applied to the party at 
different times. Thus, in Jefferson's day, its members were oc- 
casionally styled Jacobins. During Madison's administration 
the Republicans were called " Bucktails," from a conspicuous 
feature in the uniform of a Tammany Indian, that society being 
even then a power in the politics of the country. Later, as in 
Jackson's time, they became " Loco Focos," because, at a meeting 
in Tammany Hall, the lights, having been extinguished, were relit 
with loco-foco matches, then just coming into use, which several 
of the members, expecting such an event, had carried in their 
pockets. Still later they were termed " Hunkers " and " Barn- 
burners," " Hard Shells " and " Soft Shells." 

The central idea around which the party revolved was the 
diffusion of power among the people. To this touchstone was 
brought every principle that agitated the politics of the country, 
whether it related to a national bank, a tariff, taxes, or slavery. 
It held that in the States themselves resided the original and 
inherent sovereignty. For certain and only specified purposes, 
some of this had been delegated in two directions— to the general 
government, as a bond of union between all of the States, and to 
the counties, towns, cities, villages, and corporations within their 
borders, for particular objects. The local authorities were to take 
care of all home legislation, while the central government was to 
be made manifest only by acts of a general character. 


Jefferson's policy was fully set forth in his first inaugural: 
Equal and exact justice to all men ; peace, commerce, and friendly 
relations with foreign nations, entangling alliances with none ; 
the support of the State governments in their rights ; the preser- 
vation of the general government in its constitutional vigor ; a 
jealous care of the rights of election ; a well-disciplined militia ; 
honest payment of the debt ; economy in the public expenditures ; 
encouragement of agriculture and commerce ; freedom of the' 
press ; freedom of the person, and trial by jurors impartially 

In June, Jefferson removed Elizur Goodrich, a Federalist, 
from the office of Collector of the port of New Haven, appointing 
in his place Samuel Bishop, a Democrat. This was the first dis- 
placement for political causes, and, as it happened, was a case of 
peculiar hardship, as Mr. Goodrich was nearly eighty years of 
age and quite infirm. In Jefferson's letter defending his action is 
found the doctrine which Governor William L. Marcy afterward 
curtly expressed in the apothegm, " To the victors belong the 
spoils." It also contains a sentence that has become almost a 
proverb — " If a due participation of office is a matter of right, 
how are vacancies to be obtained ? Those by death are few, by 
resignation none." 

The Sedition Act was now expiring by limitation, and those 
persons suffering its penalties in the different jails throughout 
the country were released. The alien law was also modified by 
reducing the time of naturalization to five years. 

Among other congressional measures were the establishment 
of a military academy at West Point, which had been recom- 
mended by Washington ; the discontinuance of the internal tax 
on distilled spirits and a variety of other manufactures ; the 
appropriation of seven million and three hundred thousand dol- 
lars annually to the sinking fund ; the prohibition of the importa- 
tion of slaves into any of those States which had themselves 
forbidden their admission ; and the founding of a public library. 

The last-named bill was approved by the President on the 
26th of January, 1802, and John Beckley of Virginia, the clerk of 
the House of Representatives, was appointed librarian. In April 
of that year, the catalogue of the library embraced two hundred 
and twelve folios, one hundred and sixty-four quartos, five hun- 
dred and eighty-one octavos, seven duodecimos, and nine maps. 
The nucleus of the library was ordered from London by Samuel 




A. Otis, who was for twenty-five years the honored Secretary of 
the Senate. The books reached this country packed in trunks, 
and were forwarded to the new metropolis, where they were 
assigned a room in the " Palace in the Wilderness," as the unfin- 
ished Capitol was then derisively called by those who preferred 
New York or Philadelphia as the seat of government. The loca- 
tion of the library was changed several times, once because the 
books were damaged by 
a leaky roof. In the ab- 
sence of other suitable 
places in the primitive 
city, it became a great 
resort for students, poli- 
ticians, and even fashion- 
able people. 

It is related of Chief- 
Justice Marshall, that 
once, in taking a book 
from an upper shelf in 
one of the alcoves, he 
pulled down a number 
of ponderous tomes, 
which threw him to the 
floor. Recovering his 
footing, the old gentle- 
man dryly remarked, 
" I've laid down the law 
out of the books many a 
time in my long life, but 

this is the first time they have laid me down!" In one of the 
many alcoves, where the belles of those days came to receive the 
homage of their admirers, a wealthy member of Congress, who 
was preparing himself for a speech, heard near by the voice of 
his daughter, whom some penniless adventurer was persuading 
to elope with him. The irate father hastened to put a stop to the 
proceeding, and adjourned the action sine die. 

Ohio, the seventeenth State of the Union, was received No- 
vember 29, 1802. The name was derived from that of its principal 
stream, meaning " River of blood." It was the first State carved 
out of the Northwestern Territory. This region was explored 
in 1680 by the French voyageur La Salle. A company of emi- 



grants from New England went through the wilderness to Pitts- 
burg in 1787. Here they built a boat, the Mayflower, in which, 
the next spring, they floated down the Ohio. Landing opposite 
Fort Harmar, they made the first permanent settlement, which 
they named Marietta, after Marie Antoinette, the queen of France. 
The next year, Cincinnati, then called Losanteville, was founded. 
At the time of the cession of this territory to the United States, 
Virginia reserved three million seven hundred and nine thousand 
eight hundred and forty-eight acres near the rapids of the Ohio, 
for her State troops, and Connecticut three million six hundred 
and sixty-six thousand nine hundred and twenty-one acres near 
Lake Erie, thus laying the foundation of her large school fund. 
In 1800, the jurisdiction over these two tracts was relinquished 
to the general government, the States selling the soil to settlers. 
Cleveland was settled in 1796, on a portion of the Connecticut 
Reserve sold to a company from that State, and surveyed by 
Moses Cleveland. 

In 1802, Jefferson received information that Spain, by a secret 
treaty, had ceded to France the tract called Louisiana, reaching 
from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Soon after, it 
was announced that the treaty-right to the use of New Orleans as 
a place of deposit for the United States had ceased. A war with 
Spain seemed imminent. Jefferson, bent on a pacific policy, sent 
James Monroe as minister plenipotentiary to act with Mr. Liv- 
ingston at Paris, for the purchase of New Orleans and the Flor- 
idas. Buonaparte, being then on the verge of a war with England, 
in which he would be likely to lose his continental possessions, 
and also being in want of money, instructed his ministers to sell 
not only New Orleans, but the whole of Louisiana, for fifty 
millions of francs. Instead of the cession of a town and its incon- 
siderable territory, Monroe now found a vast portion of the conti- 
nent at his disposal. He had asked for the mere privilege of 
navigating the Mississippi, and its entire sovereignty was within 
his grasp. The sum fixed by Buonaparte being considered too low 
by M. de Marbois, he stated the price at eighty millions, twenty 
of which were to be used in paying debts due by France to the 
citizens of the United States, arising from seizures of ships made 
in time of peace. The First Consul was so much pleased with the 
bargain that he made his minister a present of one hundred and 
ninety-two thousand francs. 

Of this acquisition, Livingston said to Monroe, " We have lived 


long, but this is the noblest work of our whole lives ; " while 
Napoleon exclaimed, " This accession of territory strengthens 
forever the power of the United States ; and I have just given to 
England a maritime rival that will, sooner or later, humble her 

Much difference of opinion existed in the United States as to 
the constitutionality of the purchase, and Jefferson himself believed 
that an amendment to the Constitution was necessary ; but the 
action of his ministers was so generally approved that none was 
ever presented. The treaty was ratified by the Senate on the 20th 
of October, 1803, by a vote of twenty-four to seven, and the reso- 
lutions in the House providing for the payment of the money and 
the government of the new territory, passed by a vote of ninety 
to twenty-five. 

Louisiana then comprised one million one hundred and seventy- 
one thousand nine hundred and thirty-one square miles, with a 
mixed population of eighty or ninety thousand French, Spaniards, 
Creoles, Americans, English, Germans, and slaves, besides an un- 
counted horde of savages. Out of this magnificent domain we 
have since cut five States, five Territories, and parts of four 
States and of one Territory. On Jefferson's recommendation, an 
expedition, under the command of Captains Lewis and Clarke, 
was sent to explore the new territory. It occupied about two 
years and three months, and the history of their adventures forms 
one of the most romantic and thrilling episodes in the annals of 
the western country. They were eminently successful in geo- 
graphical discoveries, and brought back the first accurate in- 
formation respecting this previously unknown half of the con- 

In 1804, the twelfth amendment to the Constitution was sub- 
mitted to the people, and ratified by thirteen of the States. It 
ordained that thereafter the electors were to designate which per- 
sons were voted for as President and as Vice-President. The idea 
originated with the Republicans, in order to provide against the 
chance of another disappointment such as had threatened them in 
1 801 ; and it was, of course, opposed by the Federalists. 

The Barbary States, notwithstanding the treaty with Algiers, 
were still committing depredations on the commerce of the United 
States. Their insolence and audacity were fast becoming unbear- 
able. When Captain Bainbridge, in 1800, paid the annual tribute, 
the Dey demanded the use of his vessel to convey an ambassador 


to the Sultan at Constantinople. Bainbridge remonstrated, but 
the Dey haughtily said, " You pay me tribute, by which you be- 
come my slaves, and, therefore, I have a right to order you as I 
think proper." His vessel being under the guns of the pirate's 
castle, Bainbridge was forced to comply. The mission, after all, 
had something of a recompense, for the captain was the first to 
display the flag of the Republic on the waters of the Golden 
Horn and before the minarets of Istamboul ; and the Sultan re- 
garded it as a favorable omen of future friendship between the 
two nations, that his flag bore the device of the crescent moon, 
and the American that of a group of stars. 

The Bey of Tripoli and the Bashaw of Tunis both now 
demanded tribute of the United States. In 1804, Commodore 
Preble was sent with a squadron to bring them to terms. He 
succeeded completely in humbling their pretensions, and peace 
was declared, although sixty thousand dollars was paid as a ran- 
som for our captive sailors. Lieutenant Decatur performed a 
brilliant exploit during this brief conflict. The Philadelphia, a 
United States frigate, had struck on a rock in the Tripolitan har- 
bor, and before she could be extricated was captured, her officers 
and crew being made prisoners of war. Decatur, with seventy- 
six comrades, sailed into the harbor on the 16th of February, 1804, 
right under the guns of the castle, boarded the ship, killed or 
drove into the sea her turbaned defenders, set her on fire, and 
escaped without the loss of a man. 

Aaron Burr, the Vice-President, was a small, fair-complex- 
ioned, brilliant-eyed, fascinating man, eight and forty years of 
age ; a wit, a beau, a good scholar, a polished gentleman, a liber- 
tine, and an unscrupulous politician. He was now a candidate 
for the office of Governor of the State of New York. During the 
bitter and heated contest, Alexander Hamilton uttered some 
words in regard to Burr that he considered derogatory ; where- 
upon, maddened by defeat, he challenged Hamilton to a duel 
July 11, 1804, the two met at Weehawken, New Jersey, on the 
same spot where, only a short time before, Hamilton's son had 
been killed in a so-called affair of honor. Only one shot was 
exchanged, and Hamilton, who had fired in the air, was mortally 

Burr, being indicted both in New York and in New Jersey, fled 
to Philadelphia. The heartless character of the man may be seen 
in the fact that, having renewed proposals of marriage to a young 




lady of that city, he wrote to his daughter, " If any male friend of 
yours should be dying of ennui, recommend him to engage in a 
duel and a courtship at the same time." 

Public sentiment with regard to the duel was divided. By 
some, it was said of Hamilton, that " he had lived like a man and 
died like a fool." In the South, where the bloody code of the 
duello was recognized, Burr was greeted as a hero ; and in strong 
Republican localities as " the 
slayer of the arch-enemy of Re- 
publicanism." At the national 
capital, the "best society" 



treated him with respect, and 
even in the lower House of 
Congress, a leading partisan 
said, "The first duel I ever 
heard of was that of David killing Goliath. 
Our little David of the Republicans has 
killed the Goliath of the Federalists, and 
for this I am willing to reward him." But 
the virtuous and moral were filled with 
disgust, if not with horror, and echoed the sentiments of a senator 
who exclaimed, " God grant it may be the last time, as it is the 
first, that ever a man indicted for murder presides in the Amer- 
ican Senate." Burrs political career, however, was ended, and at 
the close of the session, he stepped down from the second office in 
the gift of the people, a ruined man. 

In the fifth presidential campaign, Jefferson was renominated 
on the Republican ticket, with George Clinton, of New York, for 


Vice-President. The Federalists offered Pinckney of South Caro- 
lina and Rufus King of New York. Such was Jefferson's popu- 
larity, that the Federal candidates carried but two States, and the 
Republicans fifteen. 

The second session of the Eighth Congress is memorable for 
two things. First ; the attempt to introduce gunboats for coast 
defence. This was one of Jefferson's favorite projects. No 
general confidence, however, was felt in the plan, and when a 
number of the boats were driven on shore and wrecked, their loss 
was not regarded as a misfortune ; while the officers of the navy 
openly expressed their satisfaction. Second ; at this time was 
seen for the first the caucus system — a word said to have had 
its origin in the term " calk-house " — a building in Boston where 
the ante-Revolutionary patriots held their meetings. There was 
now far less independent discussion, the action of the friends 
of the administration being determined beforehand in a private 

The defection of John Randolph of Roanoke from the Repub- 
lican ranks, about 1806, created considerable excitement. He had 
been a staunch friend of Jefferson's, but the President having re- 
fused to appoint him minister to England, Randolph took um- 
brage, and henceforth assailed the administration at every point. 
He was a genius of the first order, and famous for his wit and 
satire. " For over thirty years," says Benton, " he was the polit- 
ical meteor of Congress, blazing with undiminished splendor ; a 
planetary plague, shedding not only war and pestilence on nations, 
but agony and fear on members." 

" All parties feared him : each in turn 

Beheld its schemes disjointed, 
As right or left his fatal glance 

And spectral finger pointed. 
Sworn foe of Cant, he smote it down 

With trenchant wit surpassing ; 
And, mocking, rent with ruthless hand 

The robe Pretence was wearing." 

Randolph originated many queer and quaint phrases that have 
passed into the political vocabulary, and are still current. In 
the fierce debates on the Missouri Compromise measures, he gave 
to the Northern men who sustained the South, the name of" dough- 
faces " — an appellation that clung to them for years. He enun- 
ciated the doctrine of State rights in the single sentence : " When 


I speak of my country, I mean the commonwealth of Virginia." 
While in Russia, on being presented to the Emperor, he said, in 
his thin, piping voice, " How are you, Emperor ? How's madam ? " 
" I am pleased," said a gentleman to him, when meeting him for 
the first time, " to make the acquaintance of so distinguished a 
public servant. I am from the city of Baltimore. My name, sir, 
is Blunt." " Blunt — oh ! " replied Randolph ; " I should think so, 
sir," and deigned him no further notice. " I have had the plea- 
sure, Mr. Randolph," remarked another to him, " of passing your 
house recently." " I am glad of it," was the curt reply ; " I hope 
you will always do it, sir." 

Aaron Burr, after his duel with Hamilton, wrote to his son-in- 
law, Governor Alston of South Carolina : " In New York, I am to 
be disfranchised, and in New Jersey hanged. Having substantial 
objections to both, I shall not, for the present, hazard either, but 
shall seek another country. Where?" This question he never 
answered, but his restless spirit drove him West, and in that vast 
region he conceived, as is claimed, the design of forming a new 
empire. The two persons most conspicuous in his scheme were 
General James Wilkinson and Harman Blennerhassett ; the former 
betrayed him, and the latter he ruined. 

The career of Blennerhassett was as romantic as its end was 
sorrowful. With a wife of exquisite beauty, and an ample fortune, 
he left his home in Ireland and came to this country. Attracted 
by a lovely island in the Ohio River, he beautified and adorned 
it, and was living there in what is described as " a second para- 
dise." Fascinated by Burr, he was led into the wild venture 
in which he saw his fortune melt away and his home pass into the 
hands of others ; for the whole gorgeous vision that Burr had con- 
jured up vanished as suddenly as frostwork in the sunbeam. 
Political animosity sent the first whispers of suspicion over the 
mountains. Burr was accused of a conspiracy to detach the 
Western States and form another republic, of which he was to be 
president. With Blennerhassett and a number of others, he was 
arrested and brought to Richmond, Virginia. His trial, on a 
charge of high-treason, began in March, 1807, and continued all 
summer. No overt act, however, could be proved, and he was 
acquitted. The other prisoners were thereupon released. 

This year is memorable for the success that crowned the efforts 
of Robert Fulton at steam navigation. Though others had con- 
ceived, he was the first to realize the idea. Fitch, seventeen years 



before, had placed upon the Delaware a steamboat which made 
several trips, but the attempt had been abandoned as impractica- 
ble. In 1807, however, Fulton's boat, the Clermont, was launched 
upon the Hudson and made regular passages between New York 
and Albany at the rate of five miles an hour. " The vessel," says 
a writer, " presented the most terrific appearance. The dry pine- 
wood fuel sent up many feet 
above the flue a column of ig- 
nited vapor, and, when the fire 
was stirred, tremendous show- 
ers of sparks. The wind and 
tide were adverse to them, but 
the crowds saw with astonish- 
ment the vessel rapidly ap- 
proaching them ; and when it 
came so near that the noise of 
the machinery and paddles was heard, the crews of other vessels, 
in some instances, shrunk beneath their decks from the terrific 
sight ; while others prostrated themselves, and besought Provi- 
dence to protect them from the approach of the horrible monster 
which was marching on the tide, and lighting its path by the fire 
that it vomited." 

It is related of a gentleman, well known in the business circles 
of New York, that one day, being in haste to reach Albany, and 
seeing the Clermont ready to start, he went aboard. Entering 
the cabin, he saw a gentleman who, on inquiry, he learned was 
Fulton. Being told that the fare was six dollars, he counted that 
sum into his hands. Fulton held the money for some time, look- 
ing at it quietly, and then remarked, " This is the first penny I 
have received in my long effort to bring this discovery to a suc- 
cess. I am too poor, else would we have a bottle of wine together 
to mark the event." Ten years later, the same gentleman, going 
up the Hudson in one of the numerous boats that then plied upon 
the river, again saw Fulton, who, accosting him, proposed that, 
as times had changed, they should now take that bottle of wine ; 
which they did, recalling with great pleasure the memory of their 
first trip together. 

In 1 812, Fulton built at Pittsburg the first steamer to ply 
upon the Mississippi. Leaving its dockyard in October, it 
reached New Orleans, after which it was named, in December. 
The year 1807 was also marked by the publication by Wash- 


ington Irving, the first and best of American humorists, of his 
earliest work, " Salmagundi, or the Whim-Whams and Opinions 
of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq., and Others." It was followed in 
1809 by his " Knickerbocker's History of New York," which 
placed him at once among the foremost authors of the age. 

France and England were now engaged in a desperate war ; 
and the strife affected the whole civilized world. By its " Orders 
in Council," England had declared all vessels engaged in con- 
veying West India produce from the United States to Europe 
legal prizes, and several ports under the control of the French in 
a state of blockade. Napoleon thereupon issued the " Berlin 
Decree," which forbade the introduction of English goods into 
any port of Europe, even by the vessels of neutral powers. 
Other " Orders in Council " declared the whole coast of Europe 
in a state of blockade ; which Napoleon followed with his " Milan 
Decree," confiscating all vessels and cargoes violating the " Berlin 
Decree," and all vessels that should submit to be searched by the 
English. The United States was the chief sufferer by these 
vindictive measures, and expostulated, but in vain. " Join me in 
bringing England to reason," said Napoleon. " Join us in putting 
down the disturber of the world," replied England. 

The feeling in the United States was intensified by an insult 
offered to the country on the 22d of June, 1807, when the British 
ship Leopard fired into the American vessel Chesapeake off the 
coast of Virginia. The American frigate, being wholly unpre- 
pared for battle, soon struck her colors. Four of the crew, three 
being Americans by birth, were taken, on the pretence that they 
were deserters. This act was promptly disavowed by the English 
government, but no reparation was made. On the 22d of Decem- 
ber following, Congress passed the celebrated " Embargo Act," 
by which all American vessels were prohibited from sailing for 
foreign ports ; all foreign vessels from taking out cargoes ; and all 
coasting-vessels were required to give bonds to land their cargoes 
in the United States. 

This bill was violently opposed by the Federal party, and was 
extremely unpopular in the States engaged in commerce. The 
opponents, spelling the name backward, nicknamed it the O grab 
me Act. De Witt Clinton, a nephew of the Vice-President, was 
chairman of an indignation meeting in New York city, and with- 
drew his support from the administration. John Quincy Adams, 
who had favored the act, finding his course was not approved by 


the Legislature of his State, resigned his seat in the Senate, and 
informed the President that New England, if the measure were 
persisted in, would separate from the Union, at least until the 
obstacles to commerce were removed ; that the plan had already 
been adjusted, and it would be supported by the people. 

Although Jefferson had received addresses from several Legis- 
latures asking him to serve a third term, he declined, preferring 
to follow the precedent established by Washington. James Mad- 
ison, Secretary of State, was thereupon nominated for President 
by the Legislature of Virginia, and he was soon after accepted by 
the Republican members of Congress. The election resulted in 
one hundred and twenty-two votes for Madison, and one hundred 
and thirteen for Clinton as Vice-President. The Federal candi- 
dates, who were the same as at the preceding election, received 
only forty-seven votes. 

Before the conclusion of his term of office, Jefferson recom- 
mended that Congress should repeal the Embargo Act. This was 
adopted so far as related to all nations except France and Great 

March, 4, 1809, James Madison was inaugurated fourth President 
of the United States. He was born in King George county, Vir- 
ginia, March 16, 1751. Having graduated at Princeton College, 
he prepared for the bar, but the stirring scenes of the Revolution 
left him little time for the quiet pursuits of life. In 1780, he took 
his seat in the Continental Congress. Such became his popu- 
larity in his native State, that the law rendering any one ineligible 
after three-years service was repealed solely that he might be re- 
turned a fourth time. Mild and amiable in disposition, he earnestly 
sought to harmonize the party antagonisms and rivalries of Wash- 
ington's administration. Many of his public writings, notably the 
"Resolutions of 1798," passed by the Assembly of Virginia, in 
opposition to the " Alien and Sedition Laws," and the Report 
in their defence, rank among the greatest State papers of the 

Madison was small in stature, and calm and grave in speech. 
His eyes were blue, clear, and penetrating. He was bald on the 
top of his head, and he wore his hair powdered. His manner was 
modest and retiring, and his diffidence for a time materially inter- 
fered with his success as an orator. He bore the look of a quiet, 
unassuming student. His mind was, perhaps, not of the highest 
order, but it was symmetrical and vigorous. He possessed the 


genius of hard work. His memory was wonderful, and his stores 
of knowledge were perfectly at his command. His character was 
spotless, and no calumny ever attempted to sully it. In conversa- 
tion he was pleasing and instructive. Being fond of company, he 
revived the levees inaugurated by Washington. The graces and 
beauty of Mrs. Madison attracted the best of the country to her 
presence, and are still perpetuated in delightful legends of early 
society at the capital. 

Madison formed his cabinet as follows : Secretary of State, 
Robert Smith of Maryland ; Secretary of War, William Eustis 
of Massachusetts ; and Secretary of the Navy, Paul Hamilton of 
South Carolina. Albert Gallatin was retained as Secretary of 
the Treasury, and Caesar A. Rodney as Attorney-General. 

The difficulties with England continued. The United States 
government held that a foreigner could be naturalized, and thus 
become an American citizen, enjoying all the privileges of citizen- 
ship. The British doctrine, on the other hand, was " Once an 
Englishman, always an Englishman." The English naval officers, 
therefore, claimed the right of stopping American vessels on the 
high seas, searching for seamen of English birth, and pressing 
them into the navy. British ships were stationed before our har- 
bors, and every vessel coming or going was searched. Within 
eight years, nine hundred American vessels were captured for 
alleged violations of the English commercial regulations. At one 
time there were more than six thousand names registered on the 
books of the State Department of seamen who had been forced 
into the British navy. Through the indifference of the officers 
many native Americans were in this way compelled to serve 
against their country. Madison tried every means to adjust the 
differences. His pacific policy seemed, in fact, so spiritless, that 
a Federalist in Congress, losing all patience, declared that " the 
President could not be kicked into a fight." The English govern- 
ment, it is true, revoked the obnoxious " Orders in Council," but 
positively refused to yield the rights of search and impressment. 

Smarting under these insults, our seamen flung out the motto, 
"Free trade and sailors rights," and for it they were ready to fight. 
One day in May, 181 1, the frigate President having hailed the 
British sloop-of-war Little Belt, off the coast of Virginia, instead 
of a polite salutation received a cannon-shot in reply. The fire 
was returned, and the sloop was soon disabled. A civil answer 
was then given. 




The feeling against England was greatly aggravated by the 
current impression that British emissaries were busy in arousing 
the Indians along the northwestern border. In the Shawnee 
tribe, at this time, were two brothers, who, considering their race 

and surroundings, deserve to be 
{!)!&% reckoned with the heroes of his- 

tory. These were Tecumseh, 
sometimes called Tecumtha — 
" the wild-cat springing on its 
prey " — and Elsk watawa — " the 
loud voice." They were born 
of a Creek woman on the banks 
of the Mad River, near Spring- 
field, Ohio. The former was a 
chief and a warrior with the 
genius of a statesman. The lat- 
ter is better known as the "pro- 
phet." He was famous as an 
orator, and made the supersti- 
tions of his people the iulcrum 
of his power, pretending that he 
could even ward off the bullets 
of their enemies in battle. They 
sought to combine all the Western Indians in a defensive alliance 
against the whites. 

In 1809, General Harrison, governor of the Territory of 
Indiana, purchased a large tract on the Wabash. This gave 
great offence to Tecumseh. Indian outrages became frequent. 
At the earnest solicitation of the settlers, General Harrison 
marched, in November, 181 1, to Tippecanoe, the prophet's town, 
with a small body of troops. When within a few miles he was 
met by ambassadors asking for a conference on the following day. 
Fearing surprise, he ordered his men to lie upon their arms. 
During the night, the treacherous savages crept through the tall 
grass, and, surrounding the camp on all sides, suddenly sprang 
upon the troops like wolves. A desperate battle ensued, but the 
Indians were beaten with great slaughter, and the town was de- 
stroyed. All the tribes in that region forthwith sued for peace. 

In December, 181 1, occurred the burning of a theatre in the 
city of Richmond, where was collected an unusually large and 
brilliant audience. The governor of the State and several of 





the most prominent citizens, with their families, perished in the 
flames. It created the most profound sensation, both Houses of 
Congress wearing mourning for a month. 

Louisiana was admitted to the Union April 8, 181 2. It was then 
the extreme southwestern State. Its early history is closely con- 
nected with that of France, the name Louisiana having been given 
in honor of Louis XIV. The first permanent settlement within 
its present boundaries was at New Orleans in 171 8. About that 
time the colony was granted to the great Mississippi Company, 

burning of the RICHMOND THEATRE. — ( Facsimile of an old Print.) 

organized by John Law, at Paris, for the purpose of settling and 
deriving profit from the French possessions in North America. 
This gigantic bubble soon burst, but it resulted in a rapid emigra- 
tion to the banks of the Mississippi. December 20, 1803, after the 
purchase of Louisiana from the French, the American flag was 
first unfurled at New Orleans. This vast territory was then 
divided into two territories — Orleans, including the present State 
of Louisiana, and the district of Louisiana, which comprised the 
remainder. On the admission of the former as a State, the name 
of the latter was changed to Missouri. 

Early in 1812, an Englishman named Henry made an exposure 


to the President of an attempt in which he had been engaged at 
the instigation of the Governor-General of Canada, to excite hos- 
tility to the administration in the Eastern States, and perhaps pro- 
duce a rupture of the Union. He was unsuccessful, and finding 
his scheme repudiated by the English government, he came on to 
Washington, where he sold out his story and letters for the com- 
fortable sum of fifty thousand dollars, and then made off as quickly 
as possible. The President sent a message to Congress on the 
subject, and the so-called " Henry affair" did much to exasperate 
the authorities against England. 

The Vice-President, the venerable George Clinton, died April 
20, 1812. His place was filled by William H. Crawford of Georgia, 
the presiding officer of the Senate pro tern. 

The Democratic party being largely in favor of a war with 
England, Madison was assured that unless his opposition ceased 
he must not expect its support in the ensuing presidential cam- 
paign. He accordingly waived his objections, and was renomi- 
nated by a caucus of eighty-two Republican members of Con- 
gress ; Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts being placed on the 
ticket for Vice-President. The Federalists held a convention in 
New York, the first of the kind in the Republic. Eleven States 
were represented. It resolved to support De Witt Clinton and 
Jared Ingersoll of Pennsylvania, as President and Vice-President 
respectively. At the election, though the Federalist candidates 
were sustained by many anti-war Democrats, Madison and Gerry 
were chosen by a strong majority. 

Meanwhile war had been declared against England, June 19th. 
The act met with violent opposition from the few Federalists in 
Congress and the disaffected Democrats. Henry Clay, Speaker 
of the House, and John C. Calhoun were at the head of the " War 
Party." The Federalists and those opposing hostilities, were led 
by the venerable Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, called by his 
opponents in derision, " Josiah the First, King of New England, 
Nova Scotia, and Passamaquoddy " ; Emott of New York, and 
others. They were styled the " Peace Party." The war measure 
was adopted in the House by a vote of seventy-nine to forty-nine, 
and in the Senate, nineteen to thirteen. 

The first hostile shot was thrown only four days later by the 
ship-of-war President, in command of Commodore Rogers, who 
fired a chase-gun after the British ship Belvidera. A running en- 
gagement ensued, but the President finally gave up the pursuit. 


Never was a country more poorly prepared for war than the 
United States at this period. The President and his cabinet, 
by habit and inclination, were unfitted for a time of commotion 
and of great emergency. The dominant party had long been 
strenuously opposed to a standing army and navy, and both 
these branches were, therefore, weak and inefficient. Our army 
numbered but five thousand men, and our navy comprised only 
eight frigates and twelve sloops, while England had one thousand 
and sixty sail. The Revolutionary officers were either dead or 
had become so old and feeble as to be often an injury to the service 
which they loved so well. The West was all aflame for the war ; 
but at the East a powerful party bitterly opposed it as impolitic 
and unnecessary. Boston denounced the struggle, and the flags of 
her shipping were hoisted at half-mast when the news came of the 
declaration. All New England resounded with outcries against 
the war-policy and the war-party. The feuds of Democrats and 
Federalists, the lack of harmony in plans, the want of experience 
in military affairs, and the weakness of the executive — all conspired 
to render the result of the contest exceedingly doubtful. Nothing 
finally saved the country, under the blessing of Providence, but 
the courage of its soldiery and the valor of its little navy. 

The war opened on land with an invasion of Canada at three 
points — Detroit, Niagara, and on the St. Lawrence River. General 
Henry Dearborn of Massachusetts was appointed commander-in- 
chief, his position being at the eastern end of the line. The troops 
at the west were under General William Hull, and those in the 
centre under General Stephen Van Rensselaer. All the forces 
were to co-operate with a view to Montreal as their objective 

General William Hull, the Governor of Michigan Territory, 
promptly crossed from Detroit to Sandwich with a few hundred 
regulars and three regiments of volunteers. Instead of pushing 
forward to attack Maiden or seize Canada, Hull dawdled about, 
week after week, until the British rallying, captured Mackinaw, 
when, alarmed by the intelligence, he tamely retreated to Detroit. 

On the 1 6th of August, a beautiful Sabbath day, Brock, gov- 
ernor of Upper Canada, at the head of the British forces, landed 
and advanced to assault that post. The garrison was in line, and 
the gunners stood with lighted matches awaiting the order to 
fire. Suddenly, General Hull, apparently unnerved, directed the 
white flag — a table-cloth — to be displayed. The officers were 




thunderstruck, and even the women expressed their indignation. 
Hull was, however, averse to shedding blood, and so, without 
even stipulating for the honors of war, he surrendered not only 
Detroit, with its garrisons and stores, but the whole of Michigan. 
Among the arms was a brass cannon, on which was the inscrip- 
tion, "Taken at Saratoga, on the 17th of October, 1777." Some 

of the British officers greeted this released captive with kisses. 
It was, however, retaken on the banks of the Thames the follow- 
ing year. 

In 1 8 14, General Hull, having been exchanged, was tried by 
court-martial, and being convicted of cowardice and neglect of 
duty, was sentenced to be shot. He was, however, reprieved by 
the President in consequence of his Revolutionary services, his 
name being stricken from the army-roll. 

The attentive reader of the full history of this disgraceful affair 
knows not which to blame most, the irresolution of General Hull, 
the inefficiency of the War Department, or the incapacity of the 
officers of the eastern forces, who utterly failed to co-operate in 


this invasion, and left the English free to concentrate all their 
troops upon the western army. 

Bands of savages now roamed over all the northwest territory. 
The day before the surrender of Hull, Fort Dearborn, on the 
present site of Chicago, was surrendered, and part of the garri- 
son massacred. The whole country was alarmed. Ten thousand 
volunteers were readily obtained and placed under the command 
of General Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe. 

Late in the summer, General Van Rensselaer, with the " army 
of the Centre," as it was called, made an attempt to invade Canada. 
October 13th, he crossed the Niagara at Lewiston to attack the 
enemy on Queenstown Heights. The landing was desperately 
resisted. Colonel Scott and Captain Wool led the Americans in 
charge after charge, driving the British before them. Three 
times they won the victory. Van Rensselaer then returned to 
the American shore to bring over the rest of his troops. But the 
militia, frightened by the bloody tokens of the battle, refused to 
be taken out of the State, and fifteen hundred able-bodied men 
stood cowardly by their constitutional rights, while their com- 
rades vainly struggled against the odds of their swarming foes. 

Scott, finding himself deserted, mounted a log in front of his 
men and harangued them. " Hull's surrender," he exclaimed, 
" must be redeemed. Our condition is desperate. Let us die, 
arms in hand. Our country demands the sacrifice. The example 
will not be lost. The blood of the slain will make heroes of the 
living. Those who follow will avenge our fall, and our country's 
wrongs. Who dares to stand ? " A loud " All ! " rang along the 
line. The troops followed him with desperate courage, and of 
one thousand men who had crossed the river that morning, nearly 
all were killed or captured. 

The next day General Brock, who was killed in the action, 
was buried. At the request of Scott, then a prisoner, minute- 
guns were fired at Fort Niagara. " Cannon that but the day 
before had exploded in angry strife on one another, now joined 
their peaceful echoes over his grave." 

" While a captive in an inn at Niagara," says Headley, " Scott 
was told that some one wished to see the ' tall American.' He 
immediately passed through into the entry, when, to his astonish- 
ment, he saw standing before him two savage Indian chiefs, who 
wished to look on the man at whom they had so often fired with a 
deliberate aim. In broken English, and by gestures, they in- 




quired where he was hit, for they believed it impossible that out 
of fifteen or twenty shots not one had taken effect. The elder 
chief, named Jacobs, a tall, powerful savage, became furious at 
Scott's asserting that not a ball had touched him, and, seizing his 
shoulders rudely, turned him round to examine his back. The 
young and fiery colonel did not like to have such freedom taken 
with his person by a savage, and, hurling him fiercely aside, 
exclaimed, ' Off, villain ! you fired like a squaw.' « We kill you 

now,' was the quick and 
startling reply, as knives 
and tomahawks gleamed 
in their hands. Scott 
was not a man to beg 
or run, though either 
would have been prefer- 
able to taking his chances 
against these armed sav- 
ages. Luckily for him, 
the swords of the Amer- 
ican officers who had 
been taken prisoners 
were stacked under the 
staircase, beside which 
he was standing. Quick 
as thought, he snatched 
up the largest, a long 
sabre, and the next mo- 
ment it glittered un- 
sheathed above his head. 
One leap backward, to get scope for play, and he stood towering 
even above the gigantic chieftain, who glared in savage hate upon 
him. The Indians were in the wider part of the hall, between the 
foot of the stairs and the door, while Scott stood farther in, where 
it was narrower. The former, therefore, could not get in the rear, 
and were compelled to face their enemy. They manoeuvred to 
close, but at every turn that sabre flashed in their eyes. The 
moment they should come to blows, one, they knew, was sure to 
die; and although it was equally certain that Scott would fall 
under the knife of the survivor before he could regain his position, 
yet neither Indian seemed anxious to be the sacrifice. While 
they thus stood watching each other, a British officer chanced to 



enter, and, on beholding the terrific tableau, cried out, ' The 
guard ! ' and at the same instant seized the tallest chieftain by the 
arm, and presented a cocked pistol to his head. The next moment 
the blade of Scott quivered over the head of the other savage, to 
protect his deliverer. In a few seconds the guard entered with 
leveled bayonets, and the two chieftains were secured. One of 
them was the son of Brandt, of Revolutionary notoriety." 

General Van Rensselaer now resigning, General Smyth was 
placed in charge. He issued some grandiloquent proclamations, 
made several fruitless attempts to get into Canada, was mobbed 
by the militia, and posted as a coward ; he fought a duel with one 
of his generals, and finally resigned. 

General Dearborn determined to redeem the reputation of the 
army, and, November 20th, made a foray into Canada which 
turned out the most disgraceful of all. The troops fired into each 
other, and ran away leaving their dead on the field ; the generals 
never appeared when wanted ; then, after these exhausting labors, 
the army of the North went into winter quarters. 

The gloomy look of affairs was, however, brightened by the 
successes of our gallant little navy. On the 13th of August, the 
Essex, a thirty-two gun ship, commanded by Captain David 
Porter, met the British sloop-of-war Alert. After a brief engage- 
ment of eight minutes, the latter struck her colors. 

Three days after the surrender of Detroit, the Constitution, a 
forty-four gun ship, in command of Captain Isaac Hull, a nephew 
of General Hull, engaged the Guerriere, a thirty-eight gun ship, 
under Captain Dacres. The English vessel finally surrendered, 
but was so badly injured that she was set on fire and abandoned. 
The charm of British invincibility on the sea was now broken. 
The dismay in England was only paralleled by the joy in Amer- 
ica. It had been currently predicted in Great Britain that before 
the war had lasted six months, British sloops would lie along 
American frigates with impunity. That idea was no longer 

The Constitution, or " Old Ironsides," as she was affectionately 
called by the seamen, was in active service during the entire war. 
Cooper says that in two years and nine months she was in three 
actions, was twice critically chased, and that she captured five 
vessels-of-war, two of which were frigates, and a third was frigate- 
built. In all her service, as well before Tripoli as in this war, her 
good fortune was remarkable. She was never dismasted, never 





got ashore, and scarcely ever suffered any of the usual accidents 
of the sea. Though so often in battle, no very serious slaughter 
took place on board her. One of her commanders was wounded, 

and four of her lieutenants 
were killed, two on her own 
decks, and two on the ene- 
my's ; but, on the whole, 
her entire career, was that 
of what is called in the 
navy a " lucky ship." Her 
good fortune may perhaps 
be explained by the simple 
fact that she was always 
well commanded ; more- 
over, in her last two cruises, 
she probably possessed as 
fine a crew as ever manned 
a frigate. They were principally New England men, and it was 
said of them, that they were almost qualified to fight the ship 
without her officers. 

October 13th, Captain Jacob Jones, commanding the Amer- 
ican schooner Wasp, fell in with the Frolic, convoying a squadron 
of British merchantmen. A severe engagement ensued. When 
the Americans boarded the enemy, they found the decks covered 
with the dead and wounded, while every man who was able had 
gone below, except an old seaman at the wheel. Not twenty per- 
sons remained unhurt. Lieutenant Biddle of the Wasp hauled 
down the Frolic's colors. A few hours after, however, the Poic- 
tiers, a British seventy-four gun ship, appeared and seized both 
the Wasp and her prize. 

Twelve days later, Captain Decatur, in the frigate United 
States, of forty-four guns, added to his laurels the capture of the 
Macedonian, carrying forty-nine guns. 

Another exploit of " Old Ironsides " closed the year. There 
being more officers than vessels, Captain Hull, in order to afford 
others an opportunity to share in the glory, magnanimously gave 
up the command of the Constitution to Commodore Bainbridge. 
Toward the close of December, off the coast of Brazil, he fell in 
with the British frigate Java, of thirty-eight guns. During the 
action of three hours, the superior gunnery of the Americans told 
fearfully. The Java, one of the best vessels in the British service, 




was reduced to a complete wreck ; not a spar was left standing ; 
one hundred and twenty -four of her crew were killed or 
wounded, among them her commander. When surrendered, the 
vessel was too shattered to be taken to port. The Constitution 
was slightly injured, and only thirty -four of her crew were killed 
or wounded. 

Besides these exploits of war vessels, privateersmen, fitted out 
under letters of marque, had done great damage to British com- 
merce, having captured, during the first seven months of the war, 
three hundred merchantmen and three thousand prisoners. 


Military operations on land during 1813 were scarcely less 
disastrous than they were the preceding year. Three armies 
were raised as before : that of the Centre, under General Dear- 
born, on the Niagara River ; that of the North, under General 
Hampton, along Lake Champlain ; and that of the West, under 
General Harrison. All three were ultimately to invade Canada. 
Proctor was the British general, and Tecumseh had command of 
the Indian allies. 

On the 25th of April, an expedition against York (now To- 
ronto) sailed from Sackett's Harbor. A landing was effected 
after a brisk skirmish, and the town gallantly assaulted. General 

3 8o 



Dearborn, being ill, had given the command to General Zebulon 
M. Pike, a brave and spirited young officer. After the cannon- 
ading of the enemy had been silenced, he was sitting upon a 
stump, expecting every moment to see a white flag displayed, 
when there was a sudden tremor of the ground, followed by a 
tremendous explosion. The enemy had blown up their powder 
magazine and fled. Forty of the English and one hundred Amer- 
icans were killed. General Pike was mortally wounded, but 
lived long enough to hear the victorious shouts of his men and to 
have the flag of the enemy placed under his dying head. 

Sackett's Harbor having been left in a defenceless situation, 
Sir George Prevost, Governor of Canada, led an expedition 
against it May 28th. General Jacob Brown, in command at the 

SAito- tMt 

m^ % 

sackett's harbor in 1814. 

Harbor, although he had but a day's notice, collected the militia, 
and was ready to give the assailants a warm reception. His 
artillery comprised only a thirty-two-pounder, called the " Old 
Sow." His troops were raw, and at first retreated, but he rallied 
them in person, and finally drove the English back to their boats. 
General Dearborn having resigned during the summer, General 
James Wilkinson succeeded to the command of the army of the 
Centre. It was planned that the army of the North, under Hamp- 
ton, should advance from Plattsburg and join him in making an 
attack on Montreal. Wilkinson with his men descended the St. 
Lawrence in a flotilla, and repulsed the enemy at Chrysler's Field, 
November nth; but Hampton would not move his forces, and 
ao the badly-managed expedition failed. Fort George, which was 
taken by Dearborn soon after the capture of York, was now evacu- 


ated, but not until Newark was laid in ashes. The British after- 
ward retaliated by burning Buffalo, Black Rock, and Lewiston. 

General Harrison, with the army of the West, was encamped at 
Franklinton, Ohio, a detachment under General Winchester being 
stationed at Fort Defiance, on the Maumee. Early in January, 
the latter went to the defence of the people of Frenchtown, on the 
river Raisin. He defeated the enemy, but was soon attacked by 
a body of fifteen hundred British and Indians under Proctor. 
During the battle, the Indians, in order to get the reward offered 
by the British commander, scalped the wounded and the dead 
alike. Winchester, being captured, agreed to the surrender of 
his men under the solemn promise that their lives and property 
should be safe. Proctor, however, immediately returned to 
Maiden with the British, leaving no guard over the American 
wounded. Thereupon the Indians, maddened by liquor and the 
desire of revenge, with faces painted black in token of their fiend- 
ish purposes, rushed into the village, mercilessly tomahawked 
many, set fire to the houses where others lay, and carried the sur- 
vivors to Detroit, where they were dragged through the streets 
and offered for sale at the doors of the inhabitants. Many of the 
women of that place gave for their ransom every article of value 
which they possessed. Among the prisoners was Captain Hart, 
a brother of Mrs. Henry Clay, who offered a friendly chief a hun- 
dred dollars if he would conduct him in safety to Maiden. He 
was accordingly placed on a horse, but had just started when a 
Wyandot claimed him as his prisoner. A quarrel ensued, which 
was settled by killing the captain and dividing his money and 
clothes between them ! Many of the troops were Kentuckians, 
and the massacre aroused the feelings of their comrades and friends 
almost to frenzy. Their rallying cry henceforth, " Remember the 
River Raisin ! " incited them to deeds of valor, and carried fear 
into the hearts and ranks of the enemy. 

General Harrison now erected Fort Meigs at the Maumee 
Rapids for the better protection of the northwest. Here he was 
besieged (May 1-5) by Proctor with a large force of regulars, and 
Indians under Tecumseh. Fortunately, General Clay, with twelve 
hundred Kentuckians, came to his rescue, and, after a severe con- 
test, raised the siege. The Indians treated their prisoners with 
their usual brutality. One day while two of the savages were in 
the act of murdering a helpless captive, Tecumseh darted into the 
midst, dashed the Indians to the ground, and rescued the unfor- 




tunate man. He even dared to rebuke Proctor for his inhumanity, 
who replied that he could not restrain the Indians. " Go put on 
petticoats," answered the chief. " You are not fit to command 

Proctor, having returned to Maiden, made great preparations 
for a new invasion of Michigan. Harrison, apprised of his design, 
strengthened Fort Stephenson, at Lower Sandusky, for an attack. 
It was, however, only a stockade mounting a single six-pounder, 
with a small garrison under Major Croghan, a young man of but 
twenty-one. August ist, he was attacked by Proctor's troops 
sustained by gunboats in the rear. The British commander d^ 
manded instant surrender at the peril of a massacre. Crogha., 

replied that when the fort was taken 
a massacre would do no harm, as 
there would be no one to kill. Re- 
pulsed in a desperate assault, Proc- 
tor was forced to give up the siege. 
The exploits of our infant navy 
during this year added fresh lustre 
to that branch of the public service. 
On the 24th of February, Captain 
Lawrence, in command of the Hor- 
net, fell in with the British brig 
Peacock, near the mouth of the 
Demerara River. Within fifteen 
minutes, the Peacock struck her 
colors. She was already sinking, 
and, ere her crew could be rescued, the sea yawned and she 
sank out of sight, carrying with her three American and nine 
British sailors, victors and vanquished, to a common grave. Cap- 
tain Lawrence next took command of the Chesapeake, which 
on the 1 st of June was lying in the harbor of Boston. Cap- 
tain Broke, of the flag-ship Shannon, challenged him to come 
out and fight. Lawrence chivalrously accepted, although his 
ship had just returned from an unsuccessful cruise, and was 
looked upon as an " unlucky " vessel ; while part of his crew was 
discharged, and the rest, being unpaid, was half mutinous. 
Lawrence was mortally wounded early in the conflict. When 
carried below, he uttered those memorable words that will never 
be heard without stirring the pulse, " Dorit give tip the ship." But 
it was ordered otherwise. The English were already leaping on 



the deck, and soon the cross of St. George was flying over the 
shattered prize. The Chesapeake was taken to Halifax. Law- 
rence died en route, and was there buried by his generous foe with 
the honors of war. His remains were subsequently brought to 
New York and interred in Trinity church-yard, where a monu- 
ment now stands to his memory. 

The schooner Adeline, commanded by Lieutenant Arthur 
Sinclair, off Lynn Haven Bay, sunk the British vessel Lottery 
early in the spring. In June, the United States brig Argus, 
under Captain Allen, having taken Mr. Crawford, our minister, to 
France, sailed on a cruise in British waters. She had captured 
twenty merchantmen when, on the 13th of August, she was over- 
taken by the English brig Pelican, and in less than half an hour, 
her captain being mortally wounded and her first lieutenant dis- 
abled, she was compelled to strike her colors. The next month, 
the British brig Boxer, off Portland, Maine, was captured by the 
American vessel Enterprise. Both captains being slain, they 
were taken ashore and buried with equal military honors. 

The cruise of Captain David Porter, in command of the Essex, 
was full of interest. He sailed from the Delaware on the 28th of 
October, 1812, and, having rounded Cape Horn, captured twelve 
ships and several hundred sailors, many of whom enlisted in his 
service. Several of the vessels he armed as tenders, forming a 
little fleet with which he protected our whaling interests in the 
Pacific. The Essex was finally attacked, however, on the 28th 
of March, 18 14, against all the laws of nations, in the neutral har- 
bor of Valparaiso, by a British frigate, the Phoebe, and the sloop- 
of-war Cherub. Being captured after one of the most desper- 
ately-fought battles of the war, Porter wrote back to the Depart- 
ment, " We are unfortunate, bu(. not disgraced." 

In this cruise David Glascoe Farragut, though only twelve 
years of age, sailed as a midshipman. Captain Porter, in his re- 
port of the first engagement, commended the " lad Farragut," 
and regretted that he was too young for promotion. 

The British were at this time masters of Lake Erie. To Oliver 
H. Perry, a young man of twenty-eight, was assigned the com- 
mand of the American fleet on the lake. His ships were many of 
them yet to be built, from trees still standing in the forest. By 
indomitable exertions, he got nine vessels carrying fifty-four guns 
ready for action. He had to wait some time even then for sailors 
enough to man his little fleet. In August, he >vas reinforced by 




a company of marines from the Atlantic seaboard, many of them 
being sent to him overland in four-horse stage-coaches, via Albany 
and Buffalo. Perry now cruised about hoping to fall in with the 
British squadron under Barclay. 

On the ioth of September, the English fleet, consisting of six 
vessels bearing sixty-three guns, hove in sight. Perry ran to the 
masthead of his vessel, itself named the Lawrence, a banner 
on which were inscribed the words of that lamented hero, "Dorit 
give up the sJiip." Soon a bugle-note sounded from the Detroit, 
the British flag-ship, and the first gun was fired. The vessels ap- 
proached closer to each other, and the action soon became general. 
The Lawrence seemed to be singled out to bear the brunt of the 

English guns, and it was not 
long before she was terribly 
shattered, and her men nearly 
all killed or wounded. Perry 
with his flag then sprang into a 
small boat, and standing erect, 
the target for a score of guns, 
was rowed to the Niagara. 
This gallant feat history, art, 
and song will never weary of 
celebrating. Taking command 
of that vessel, he dashed upon 
the British line, and broke it, 
pouring such a storm of shot 
right and left, that within eight minutes the Detroit struck her 
colors, followed by all her consorts but two, which were taken 
soon after. With a touch of pardonable pride Perry went back to 
the Lawrence, and on her battle-stained deck received the sur- 
render. Here he wrote on the back of an old letter, resting it 
upon his navy cap, that memorable despatch to General Harrison : 

perry's headquarters. 

" We have met the enemy, and they are ours ; two ships, two 
brigs, one schooner, and one sloop. 

" Yours, with great respect and esteem, 

" O. H. Perry." 

The victory filled the Americans with joy, and the British with 
mortification. On both sides of the ocean it was made the subject 
of caricature at the expense of the British. It was the first time 




in the naval history of Great Britain that an entire squadron had 
surrendered. The memory of the event was kept fresh in the 
hearts of our countrymen for many years after by annual celebra- 
tions. Even to this day, a song, rude in versification but stirring 
in verse, commencing, 

" The tenth of September 

Let us all remember, 
As long as the world on its axis goes round, 

Our tars and marines 

On Lake Erie were seen, 
To make the proud flag of Great Britain come down," 

if sung or repeated in the pres- 
ence of any one living at that 
time, will revive the enthusiasm 


that can never be forgotten. On Barclay's ship were found three 
Indians skulking below. It seems these sharpshooters had been 
placed in the round-tops to pick off the American officers. Be- 
fore they had a chance to display their skill, however, cannon-balls 
came whistling through the rigging, and the would-be heroes of 
the rifles descended to the deck. As the vessels neared, this post 

3 86 



also became too warm ; and leaving the American officers to take 
care of themselves, they went down into the hold and remained 
there until brought out by their captors. " A pet bear, more 
courageous than the savages, was found enjoying itself on deck, 
lapping up the blood of the fallen." 

Johnny.urorityouhke some ntorp^= 
?erry? *&& 

fe~ Oh! Terry llLGimtiutTbrrtfl 

—One disaster after another— J have 

Shave not half recovrrrdoftheBlmig-rwse 
the Boxing Jflaic' ' 

3ueen Charlotte and Johnny But/ jot their dose of IFerru. 


After the battle, the Lawrence was towed over to Misery Bay, 
her birth-place, remaining there, a monument of the celebrated 
victory, until 1815, when she sunk at her anchors. After she had 
lain for about fifty years, an attempt was made to raise her, 
which failed; but in 1875, a company of gentlemen purchased the 
vessel, and, on the 14th of September of that year, succeeded in 
bringing the old ship to the surface, amidst the plaudits of the 
crowd who had repaired to the spot to greet the heroic craft 
which had once so nobly carried our flag. She was transported 
to Philadelphia, in order to be exhibited at the Exposition. 

This victory virtually put an end to the war. It led to the 
speedy destruction of the Indian Confederacy ; relieved the whole 
region of the most gloomy forebodings of evil ; enabled Harrison 
to repossess the lost territory ; wiped out the disgrace of Hull's 
misfortune, and led the way to the invasion of Canada. 

Washington Irving, in a sketch of Perry written soon after, 
said : " The last roar of cannon that died along the shores of Erie 
was the expiring note of British domination. Those vast interna 1 





seas will, perhaps, never again be the separating space between 
contending nations ; and this victory, which decided their fate, 
will stand unrivaled and alone, deriving lustre and perpetuity 
from its singleness. In fut- 
ure times, when the shores 
of Erie shall hum with a busy 
population ; when towns and 
cities shall brighten where 
now extend the dark and 
tangled forests ; when ports 
shall spread their arms, and 
lofty barks shall ride where 
now the canoe is fastened to 
the stake ; when the present 
age shall have grown into 
venerable antiquity, and the 
mists of fable begin to gather 
round its history, then will 
the inhabitants look back to 
this battle we record, as one 
of the romantic achievements 
of the days of yore. It will stand first on the page of their local 
legends, and in the marvelous tales of the border." 

General Harrison did not long wait to gather up the fruits of 
the victory. Early in October, he started, with a large force of 
Kentuckians under Governor Shelby, in pursuit of Proctor, who 
was rapidly fleeing along Lake St. Clair, with the hope of 
joining the British on Burlington Heights, at the head of Lake 
Ontario. Tecumseh denounced the British commander as a 
" squaw " for thus running away, and threatened to desert him. 
Proctor at last took a stand in a strong position on the River 
Thames. Harrison, perceiving that he had weakened his line by 
extending it too far, ordered Colonel Johnson to break it by a 
charge of his cavalry. The Kentucky horsemen dashed forward, 
and in less than five minutes after the first shot was fired had 
routed the enemy. Proctor escaped in his carriage, and within 
twenty-four hours was sixty miles away. The Indians, hidden in 
a swamp, continued the struggle. Tecumseh long animated his 
warriors with his own desperate valor. At last, struck by a ball, 
he calmly stepped forward, and, sinking at the foot of an oak, 
died. His followers, appalled at their loss, fled in dismay. 

3 88 



If we can believe a vulgar couplet, which is now and then at 
this date heard on the street or in the school-yard, running, 

" Rumpsey, Dumpsey, hickory Crumpsey, 
Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh," 

the hcnor of his death belongs to that brave Kentuckian. 

During the summer of 1813, the Indians of Georgia and Ala- 
bama, incited by the British and Spanish authorities, and also 
by Tecumseh's project of a great Indian Con- 
federacy, took up arms. Troops under the 
command of Andrew Jackson were sent 
against them. On the 30th of August, the 
savages had surprised Fort Mimms, forty 
miles north of Mobile, and massacred nearly 
three hundred persons. Volunteers now 
flocked in from all the adjoining States to 
avenge this horrid deed. General 
Floyd, with the Georgia militia, 
defeated the Indians at Callabee 
and Autossee, the Creek metrop- 
olis, where the very ground was 
sacred. General Coffee routed 
them at Tallushatchee, and Jack- 
son, a few days after, at Talladega. Claiborne, with the Missis- 
sippi troops, captured Eccanachaca, " Holy Ground," which 
they considered an impregnable stronghold. The next spring the 
Creeks made their last rally at " Tohopeka," or the " Horseshoe 
Bend," on the Tallapoosa River. Six hundred of the Indians 
were killed, and the remainder were glad to sue for peace. 

The speech of their chief prophet and warrior, Weatherford, 
on his surrender, deserves to be perpetuated with the utterances 
of other distinguished men of this unfortunate people. " I am," 
said he, " in your power. Do with me as you please. I am a 
soldier. I have done the white people all the harm I could. I 
have fought them, and fought them bravely. If I had an army, I 
would yet fight and contend to the last. But I have none. My 
people are all gone. I can now do no more than weep over the 
misfortunes of my nation. Once I could animate my warriors to 
battle ; but I cannot animate the dead. My warriors can no 
longer hear my voice. Their bones are at Talladega, Tallus- 
hatchee, and Tohopeka. I have not surrendered myself thought- 







lessly. Whilst there were chances for success, I never left my 
post, nor supplicated peace. But my people are gone ; and I 
now ask it for my nation and for myself." 

Several incidents of this brief campaign strikingly illustrate 
Jackson's character. On the field at Talladega, he was touched 
by the cry of an Indian babe, whose mother had died in the battle. 
He tried to induce some mother among the prisoners to take care 
of it. " Its mother is dead," was the cold answer; " let the child 
die too." The general, himself a childless man, then turned 
nurse. Some brown sugar formed a part of his private stores, 
and with this he 
caused the child /Jijji ||||JfMl 
to be fed. The in- 
fant throve on this 
simple fare, and 
he finally took it 
home with him, 
and reared it up in 
his own family. 

During the win- 
ter the troops un- 
der his command 
suffered much 
from hunger. One 
day a starving sol- 
dier asked the 
general for some- 
thing to eat. " I will divide with you," was the reply, as he drew 
out of his pocket a handful of acorns. At last the soldiers 
could endure their privations no longer, and they mutinied. 
Jackson rode down the ranks. His left arm, shattered by a ball, 
was disabled, but in his right he held a musket. Sternly ordering 
the men back to their place, he declared he would shoot the first 
who advanced. No one stirred, and at last all returned to duty. 

Early in the spring, the British commenced devastating the 
southern coast. Admiral Cockburn, especially, disgraced the 
British navy by conduct worse than that of Cornwallis in the 
Revolution. Along the shores of Virginia and Carolina, he 
burned bridges, farm-houses, and villages ; robbed the inhabitants 
of their crops, stock, and slaves; plundered churches of their 
communion services, and murdered the sick in their beds. 





Neither age nor sex was spared by these pirates in British uni- 
form. Frenchtown, Georgetown, Havre de Grace, and Freder- 
ickstown were wantonly destroyed. 

The New England coast, though closely blockaded, was spared 
any attack, from a general belief that it would yet return to its 
allegiance to Great Britain. The bitter opposition there felt to 
the war was signally exhibited, when the Hornet beat the Pea- 
cock, in the following resolution, which was adopted by the 
°enate of Massachusetts, on the motion of Mr. Quincy, June 15, 
1 81 3 : "Resolved, as the sense of the Senate of Massachusetts, that, 
in a war like the present, waged without a justifiable cause, and 

the attack ON oswego. — From an old Print. 

prosecuted in a manner that indicates that conquest and ambition 
are its real motives, it is not becoming a moral and religious 
people to express any approbation of military or naval exploits 
which are not immediately connected with the defence of our sea- 
coast and soil." Another curious incident occurred in this con- 
nection. Decatur lay, with three vessels, in the harbor of New 
London, anxious to escape through the blockading squadron. 
Whenever he made an attempt, however, no matter with how 
great secrecy, just at that time blue lights were sure to be seen 
burning on the bank of the River Thames. Decatur believed 
them to be warning signals to the enemy, and dared not put out 
to sea. The Federal party had to bear the odium of this traitor- 


ous act, and for a quarter of a century afterward its members 
were stigmatized with the epithet of " Blue-Light Federalists." 

During the year 1814, the war was prosecuted with renewed 
vigor on both sides. The peace of Paris had released the British 
fleets and armies so long employed against Napoleon, and left the 
English at liberty to direct their entire strength against the United 
States. Fourteen thousand veterans who had fought under Wei- 
lington were sent to Canada. 

The summer campaign opened with the capture by the British 
of the fort at Oswego, although it was stubbornly and bravely de- 
fended by its commander, Colonel Mitchell. May 5th, the town 
was bombarded, and a fruitless attempt made to land. The next 
day the effort was renewed successfully. Mitchell thereupon 
abandoned the fort, which mounted only five guns, and after an- 
noying the English as much as he could, he retreated to Oswego 
Falls. Having dismantled the works and burned the barracks, 
the enemy retired. 

July 3d, our army, under Generals Brown, Ripley, and Scott, 
crossed Niagara River, and captured Fort Erie, opposite Buffalo. 
Two days after, they defeated the British under General Riall at 
Chippewa, the English loss being nearly double the American. 
Just before the final charge, General Scott addressed his men as 
follows : " The enemy say that the Americans are good at a long 
shot, but can not stand the cold iron. I call upon you instantly 
to give the lie to the slander. Charge ! " 

On the 25th, another engagement took place near Lundy's 
Lane, a highway running from the Niagara River to the head of 
Lake Ontario, and opposite Niagara Falls. Our force was less 
than three thousand, while the British numbered nearly five thou- 
sand. General Scott, being in the advance, began the attack about 
four o'clock in the afternoon, and stubbornly held his ground till 
reinforcements arrived. Major Jessup turned the enemy's flank, 
and amid the gathering darkness picked up so many prisoners, 
among them General Riall, as to impede his progress. Brown, 
seeing that a battery stationed on the hill near by was the key to 
the British position, turned to Colonel James Miller and said, " Sir, 
can you take that battery ? " "I will try'' he replied. " Close up, 
steady, men," was his only command to the gallant twenty-first, 
as it moved forward up the hill, and captured the guns, amid 
cheers that were heard above the roar of the mighty cataract. 
Night had already come, yet the British made three desperate 

39 2 



assaults to recover the position. The men whom Wellington had 
so often led to victory were fairly driven back each time, and 
at last could not be rallied for another struggle. The Americans, 
however, gained no substantial benefits from this success. Scott 
and Brown being wounded, General Ripley retreated to Fort 
Erie. General Gaines now took command. He was assaulted 
by the British August 15th, Colonel Drummond leading the at- 


tacking corps with the cry " Give the Yankees no quarter! " The 
colonel was shot, and his men fled. A fierce sortie by the garrison, 
September 17th, finally broke up the siege, and the British retired 
behind their entrenchments at Chippewa. The American army, 
having destroyed Fort Erie, went into winter-quarters at Buffalo, 
thus closing this brilliant campaign. 

We turn now to the army of the East. The British had 
here attempted to revive the plan of Burgoyne's famous cam- 
paign. The army of invasion consisted of fourteen thousand men 
under Sir George Prevost and a fleet of four armed vessels and 
thirteen gunboats under Commodore Downie. General Macomb 
and Commodore McDonough were in command of our land and 
naval forces at Plattsburg. The Americans retired across the 
Saranac on the approach of the enemy. On Sunday morning 
September nth, they were attacked by land and water. 




In the solemn hush before the battle, McDonough 
hands on deck and read to them 
the Episcopal service. The im- 
pressiveness of the occasion added 
a strength and beauty to the noble 
liturgy. A man who dared, in the 
navy of that day, to perform such 
an act, was surely worthy to lead. 

The struggle raged for two 
hours, when McDonough adopted 
the difficult expedient of wearing 
his vessel around, so as to present a 
fresh broadside to the enemy. The 
English tried the same manoeuvre, 
but failed. The battle was then 
soon decided. The British com- 
modore was killed, his guns were 
silenced, and his larger vessels cap- 
tured. Scarce a spar was standing 
in either fleet, and the ships were 
ready to sink. Meanwhile the 
English land forces had suffered 
defeat, and about dark they re- 
treated. Thus ended the invasion, 
not less successfully for us, but less 
disastrously for the English than 
did its Revolutionary compeer. 

The operations of Admiral 
Cockburn, with his worthy asso- 
ciate, General Ross, were con- 
tinued this year along the coast. 
In August, General Ross ascended 
the Potomac to Washington. An 
attempt was made to stop him at 
Bladensburg, but our troops, under 
General Winder, fled disgracefully. 
The day was hot, and the British 
were in no condition to pursue. 
The Americans lost during the re- 
treat only one man — an officer — 
who, it is said, ran till he died. 

piped all 




The " Bladensburg Races" as the battle was satirically styled, 
left the way open to the capital. 

The President was on the field, and sent his servant to warn 
Mrs. Madison of her danger. She resolved to save the full-length 
portrait of Washington which now adorns the blue-room of the 
White House. It was cut out of its frame and borne away by 
the gentlemen. So precipitate was her flight, that a dinner-table 
was left spread for forty guests. Unexpected ones occupied it. 
They were hungry Britons. 

The principal British officers entered the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and Cockburn took the chair. " Gentlemen," he cried, 


" the question is, Shall this harbor of Yankee democracy be 
burned ? All in favor of burning it will say, Aye ! " The re- 
sponse was in the affirmative, and there was no negative. " Light 
up," said he, and the work of destruction was commenced. In 
the course of a few hours, nothing remained of the splendid Cap- 
itol and the presidential mansion but their smoke-blackened walls. 
Two million dollars worth of property is said to have been de- 
stroyed during this incursion, disgraceful alike to America and 

The British now sailed around by sea to attack Baltimore. 
The fleet bombarded Fort McHenry, while the land forces were 
to move upon the city. In both of these attempts the enemy was 
unsuccessful. During the bombardment, Francis S. Key, who 


had gone to the British fleet with a flag of truce to procure the 
release of a friend, and who was not permitted to return lest he 
might carry back valuable information, watched the flag of his 
country waving above Fort McHenry. The British commander 
had boasted to Key that the place could hold out only a few hours, 
and then Baltimore must inevitably fall into his hands. The next 
morning the flag was still waving defiantly and triumphantly in 
the face of the foe. The incident inspired Key to write the words 
of a song which will be sung as long as the flag is known : 

" Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, 

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, 

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? 
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, 
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ; 
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ? " 

The harbor of Stonington, Conn., was in like manner bom- 
barded by the enemy, but, the militia assembling, no landing was 
effected by the British troops. During nearly the whole of the 
year, also, that part of Maine which lies east of the Penobscot 
River was occupied by the English. The United States frigate 
Adams, and many merchant vessels lying in the Penobscot were 
destroyed or fell into their hands. 

A convention held at Hartford, December 15th, excited great 
attention. It was composed of delegates from the New England 
States. Its deliberations were secret, and were supposed to be 
disloyal, so that nearly every member was henceforth excluded 
from all political position in the nation. Indeed, it became one 
of the chief causes of the ruin of the Federal party. A report 
was current at the time that there would be an attempt to take 
New England out of the Union and establish a kingdom. It is 
now known, however, that the convention only considered cer- 
tain alleged usurpations by the general government, several 
amendments to the Constitution, and the defence of the eastern 
coast against the attacks of the British navy, then becoming so 
threatening. The convention adjourned, having recommended 
the call of a second the ensuing year. What would have been the 
result of these deliberations cannot be known, as peace put a 
practical stop to all anti-war measures and removed their worst 


November 13th, Elbridge Gerry, the Vice-President, expired 
suddenly in his carriage while proceeding to the Capitol. He 
died honorably poor and was universally mourned. John Gail- 
lard of South Carolina was appointed President of the Senate. 

The treaty of peace was signed by the commissioners at Ghent 
on the 24th of December, 18 14. It did not settle the great ques- 
tion of the war, viz., the impressing of seamen, but there was a 
tacit understanding, and it was never revived. The news did 
not reach this country until the following February. Meanwhile 
had occurred one of the most brilliant victories ever achieved by 
the American arms. 

During the year 18 14, General Andrew Jackson, after subdu- 
ing the Creek Indians, was engaged in Florida settling affairs 
with the Spanish authorities, who had been suspected of co- 
operating with the British in urging the Indians to war and 
furnishing them with arms and ammunition. He captured Pensa- 
cola and drove from its harbor a British fleet. Learning that the 
English would next attack New Orleans, he proceeded to that 
city and made the most vigorous preparations for its defence. 

December 14th, the expected British fleet entered Lake 
Borgne and captured the American gun-boats stationed at that 
point. Thence, passing through an unfrequented bayou nearly to 
the Mississippi, the advance reached the river only nine miles 
from the city. That night Jackson bravely attacked the enemy 
in their camp, but was repulsed. The next day he fell back 
behind his entrenchments, which extended from the river to an 
impassable swamp. An assault on the 28th having failed, the 
British brought up cannon and planted several batteries. Their 
fire, however, produced little effect.. In throwing up their works, 
the British had used hogsheads of sugar instead of sand-bags, but 
the American balls quickly broke them in pieces. On the other 
hand, Jackson at first made his entrenchments partly of cotton 
bales, but a red-hot cannon-ball having fired the cotton and scat- 
tered the burning fragments among the barrels of gunpowder, it 
was found necessary to remove the cotton entirely. The only 
defence of the Americans in the ensuing battle was a bank ol 
earth five feet high, and a ditch filled with water. 

January 8th, General Pakenham, the commander-in-chief ol 
the British, advanced with his whole force, twelve thousand strong. 
Behind their breastworks, three thousand Tennessee and Ken- 
tucky riflemen, the finest marksmen in the world, were awaiting 




his coming. When within range, a vivid stream of fire flashed 
from the whole American line. Every shot told. The enemy 
was thrown into confusion, and the plain was strewn with the 
dead and dying. In the vain attempt to rally his troops, General 
Pakenham was killed, General Gibbs, the second in command, 
was mortally and General Keene severely wounded. General 
Lambert, on whom the command devolved, being unable to check 
the flight of his troops, retired to his encampment, and ten days 

-%2F%s/% ; 


afterward the whole army hastily withdrew to their ships. The 
British had lost over two thousand men, and the Americans but 

During the attack on Jackson's lines, the British had carried 
an American battery on the right bank of the river, which com- 
manded the American position and gave them virtual control of 
New Orleans ; but the defeat of the main body had been so signal 
that they made no effort to pursue their success. 

A cable despatch would have saved this fearful bloodshed. 
" O tardy science ! " exclaims Parton, in his Life of Jackson ; " O 
Morse, O Cyrus Field, why were you not ready with your 
oceanic telegraph then, to tell those men of both armies that they 


were not enemies, but friends and brothers, and send them joyful 
into each other's arms, not in madness against each other's arms ? 
The ship that bore this blessed news was still in mid-ocean, con- 
tending with its wintry winds and waves. How much would 
have gone differently in our history if those tidings had arrived a 
few weeks sooner ! " 

An incident showing the stern justice and the rugged charac- 
ter of General Jackson occurred soon after. A member of the 
legislature, on the ioth of February, caused it to be stated in the 
Louisiana Gazette that peace had been declared. Jackson arrested 
him, charging that this statement excited mutiny among the sol- 
diers. A writ of habeas corpus having been granted the prisoner 
by Judge Hall, Jackson, instead of obeying the writ, arrested the 
judge and sent him out of the city. On being restored to his 
office, the judge ordered Jackson to appear and show cause why 
he should not be committed for contempt in disregarding the writ. 
General Jackson came in citizen's garb before the court, and being 
fined one thousand dollars, paid it. It was, however, subsequently 
refunded to him by the government, with interest. 

The last two naval actions of the war were in our favor. 
These were the capture in February, 1815, by the frigate Consti- 
tution, of two British sloops-of-war, the Cyane and Levant, off 
the island of Madeira, and in March, by the Hornet, of the brig 
Penguin off the coast of Brazil. " Thus terminated at sea," says 
Alison, the British historian, " this memorable contest, in which 
the English, for the first time for a century and a half, met with 
equal antagonists on their own element ; and in recounting which 
the British historian, at a loss whether to admire most the 
devoted heroism of his own countrymen or the gallant bearing of 
their antagonists, feels almost equally warmed in narrating either 
side of the strife." 

The Americans who were captured during the war, and 
impressed seamen who refused to serve in the British navy, had 
been kept at Dartmoor, a prison situated on a lonesome moor not 
far from Portsmouth, England. They were treated with great 
rigor. Their sufferings, especially during the severe winter of 
181 3-14, were bitter. Headley says that the stream running 
through the prison-yard and the buckets of water in the rooms, 
were frozen solid. Most of the prisoners, being protected only 
by rags and destitute of shoes, could not go out into the yard at 
all, as it was covered with snow several feet deep, but lay 


crouched in their hammocks day and night. The strong were 
bowed in gloom and despair, and the weak perished in protracted 
agonies. To fill the measure of their sufferings, the commanding 
officer issued an order compelling them to turn out at nine 
o'clock in the morning and remain in the open air till the guard 
counted them. This took nearly an hour, during which time the 
poor fellows stood barefoot in the snow, benumbed by the cold, 
and pierced by the bleak wind. Unable to bear this dreadful 
exposure, the prisoners cut up their bedding, to make garments 
and socks for themselves, and slept on the cold floor. Morning 
after morning, hardy men, benumbed by the cold, fell lifeless in 
the presence of their keepers. Peace came, but these suffering 
men were not released. Restless and uneasy, collisions began to 
occur with their brutal keepers. April 4, 181 5, they received no 
bread. The next day they broke into the depot of supplies. On 
the 6th, the guard fired upon them repeated volleys, killing seven 
and wounding sixty of these unarmed men. This " Dartmoor mas- 
sacre " for a time threatened to renew hostilities between the two 
countries, but the matter was finally amicably settled. 

The Barbary States had taken advantage of the war to renew 
their piratical depredations. Decatur, being sent thither with a 
squadron, captured the largest vessel in the Algerine navy, vis- 
ited Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli in succession, and compelled the 
release of our prisoners ; exacted payment for the losses we had 
already sustained, and the relinquishment of all demands for trib- 
ute in future. Since then we have had no trouble with the Bar- 
bary pirates. 

Peace found the country in a deplorable condition — trade 
ruined, commerce gone, no specie, banks without credit, and a 
general depression. Yet, such were the resources of the country, 
that it almost immediately entered on a career of unexampled 
prosperity. Cotton rose from ten to over twenty cents per 
pound. Soon the ocean was whitened with the sails of our ships. 
Land rapidly increased in value. Explorations, especially con- 
nected with the fur trade, were pushed at the northwest. Emi- 
gration multiplied. In 18 16, the United States Bank was 
rechartered to continue for twenty years, and an act was passed 
providing for paying the national debt, over one hundred and 
twenty million dollars, by annual instalments of ten million 

The Federal party was now almost entirely broken up by its 


opposition to the war. Rufus King, its candidate for the Presi- 
dency, received only thirty-four votes. The Republicans nomi- 
nated James Monroe, with Daniel D. Tompkins as Vice-President. 
They were elected by one hundred and eighty-three votes. 

December u, 1816, Indiana was admitted to the Union, form- 
ing the nineteenth State. It well merits the name given it, as 
within its borders were fought many of the most desperate and 
decisive Indian battles. As early as 1702, some French Cana- 
dians descended the Wabash River, establishing several posts, 
Vincennes being among them. Little is known, however, of the 
early history of the country until 1763, when it was ceded to the 
English. It formed a part of the great Northwest Territory. 
When Ohio was set off in 1800, the remainder was called Indiana. 
In 1805, Michigan was carved from it ; and in 1809, Illinois. 

President Monroe was inaugurated March 4, 181 7. He was 
born in Westmoreland county, Va., April 28, 1758. From early 
manhood he had mingled in the public affairs of the country, 
his life being a portion of its history from the commencement 
of the War of the Revolution. He had been the friend and 
adviser of Jefferson and Madison, and possessed the entire confi- 
dence of the people. He was tall and well-formed, with light 
complexion and blue eyes. He was laborious and industrious in 
his habits, though by no means brilliant. 

In the selection of his Cabinet, Monroe showed excellent 
judgment, taking for his advisers men of commanding ability and 
the widest influence. They aided largely in giving to his admin- 
istration a character which rendered it " the golden age " of our 
political history. The Secretary of State was John Quincy 
Adams, a master of diplomacy, who had grown up in this field, 
having been representative at the Hague when so young that he 
was called " General Washington's Boy Minister." The Secre- 
tary of the Treasury was William H. Crawford of Georgia, a man 
of commanding appearance, brilliant talents, and sterling patriot- 
ism. The Secretary of War was John C. Calhoun, one of Amer- 
ica's greatest statesmen. The Secretary of the Navy was Ben- 
jamin W. Crowinshield of Massachusetts who was succeeded by 
Samuel L. Southard of New Jersey, the youngest man ever ap- 
pointed to a place in the Cabinet, being only twenty-nine years 
of age, but full of promise, thoroughly accomplished, and the 
pride of his native State. 

For his legal adviser, the President had the distinguished Wil- 


liam Wirt, who was as clear-minded and sound-hearted in council 
as he was brilliant in the forum. Outside the cabinet, the admin- 
istration possessed such supporters as Daniel D. Tompkins, Vice- 
President ; John Marshall, Chief-Justice ; and Henry Clay, Speaker 
of the House. 

Soon after his inauguration, Monroe, imitating the example of 
Washington, made his memorable journey through the Northern 
States to examine the military posts, and acquire a thorough ac- 
quaintance with the capabilities of the country in case of future 
hostilities. He wore the uniform of a colonel of the Revolution- 
ary army — three-cornered hat, scarlet-bordered blue coat, and 
buff breeches. He was everywhere received with consideration 
and cordiality, and in many places with enthusiasm and great 
civic and military displays. His simple dignity of manner, and 
his evident sincerity of purpose, rendered him popular with all. 
" Embittered and hot-tempered leaders of parties, who for the last 
seven years had hardly deigned to speak to each other, or even to 
walk on the same side of the street, met now with smiling faces, 
vying in extravagance of republican loyalty. The ' era of good 
feeling ' having thus begun, the way was rapidly paved for that 
complete amalgamation of parties which took place a few years 

During the first twenty years of the present century, there 
was hardly a branch of industry or a valuable interest that did 
not receive an impulse. The war had led to the establishment of 
extensive manufactories to supply the place of the English goods 
cut off by the blockade. These continued to thrive after peace 
was declared, though trade was for a time depressed by the quan- 
tity of foreign goods thrown on the market. The feeling of the 
people was well expressed by Henry Clay on the Senate floor, in 
his memorable speech, April 6, 18 10, where he first took ground 
in favor of protecting the interests of American manufactures : 
" There is a pleasure, a pride," said he, " (if I may be allowed the 
expression, and I pity those who cannot feel the sentiment), in 
being clad in the productions of our own family. Others may 
prefer the cloths of Leeds or London, but give me those of Hum- 
phreysville." While speaking, he was clothed in the product of 
an American loom. 

Almost every State saw the institution of colleges and univer- 
sities. Among these were the University of Georgia, established 
in 1 801 ; Washington College, Pennsylvania, 1802 ; Ohio Univer- 



sity, 1804; University of South Carolina, 1806; Hamilton College, 
New York, 1812; University of Virginia, of which Jefferson was 
proud to be called the father, 1819; and Madison University, New 
York, and Colby University, Maine, 1820. In 1821, a school for 

the education of women 
was established in Troy, 
N. Y., by Mrs. Emma Wil- 
lard. It was a pioneer 
institution, and its re- 
markable success placed 
its founder foremost 
among the teachers of the 
country and the benefac- 
tors of her sex. 

In the year 1806, five 
students at Williams Col- 
lege (Samuel J. Mills, 
Jas. Richards, Francis L. 
Robbins, Harvey Loomis, 
and Bryan Greene), being 
in a grove, where they had 
met for meditation and 
prayer, were driven by 
a sudden storm to the 
friendly shelter of a hay- 
stack. Here, in their con- 
versation, came up the 
subject of the moral condition of Asia, in which country they 
were interested from being engaged in the study of its geography. 
Mills suggested the idea of carrying the Gospel to the people of 
that vast region. His companions favoring the notion, they joined 
in prayer and sung a hymn. Soon after, they formed in the col- 
lege the first Foreign Missionary Society ever organized in 
America. Delegates were sent to other colleges to kindle the 
same spirit, and in four years after that " Haystack prayer-meet- 
ing," the American Board of Foreign Missions was established. 

The American Bible Society had its origin in 18 16. On the 
8th of May, sixty gentlemen met in the Consistory Room of the 
Reformed Dutch Church in Garden Street, New York, and re- 
solved that " it is expedient, without delay, to establish a general 
Bible Institution for the circulation of the Holy Scriptures with- 


out note or comment." Many of the most distinguished clergy- 
men of the day were present at the birth of the society, and lived 
to see it fulfil its important work. 

Benjamin Lundy, in 181 5, founded an anti-slavery association, 
called the " Union Humane Society," and afterward started a 
newspaper, "The Genius of Universal Emancipation." He was 
the originator of anti-slavery periodicals and lectures. 

The first savings bank was established in Philadelphia, No- 
vember 1 8 16. Others were soon put in operation in every city of 
the Union. Besides the accumulation of savings, they taught the 
people thrift and economy, and so have been of great service. 

In 1819, the Savannah, a steamer of three hundred and fifty tons 
burden, crossed the Atlantic, making the passage in thirty-one 
days. She was heavily sparred, and depended largely upon her 
sails, yet the voyage marked the commencement of a new era in 

In 1795, after the admission of Vermont and Kentucky, the 
number of stripes in the American flag had been increased to 
fifteen. This was the form used during the War of 181 2-14. 
April 4, 181 8, a bill was approved reducing the stripes to thirteen, 
and making the number of stars equal to that of the States, a new 
one to be added for every new State, on the 4th of July succeed- 
ing its admission. On the 13th of April the qew flag was first 
hoisted over the Hall of Representatives in Washington. 

The Seminole Indians having committed many depredations, 
General Jackson was sent against them with a force of two thou- 
sand five hundred men. He burned their villages, marched into 
Florida, then held by Spain, and took possession of Pensacola. 
Two traders, Arbuthnot, a Scotchman, and Ambrister, a British 
lieutenant of marines, were arrested for inciting the savages to 
hostility. They were tried by court-martial, and, being found 
guilty, the former was hanged and the latter was shot. Jackson 
also hanged two prominent Indian chiefs. The Spanish authori- 
ties complained of his conduct, and it was made the subject of 
congressional inquiry, but his course was approved by large 
majorities in both Houses. 

The execution of these two British subjects produced intense 
excitement in England. There was great apprehension of a third 
war with the United States. Stocks fell. The Federal govern- 
ment was bitterly denounced. Jackson was declared to be a 
" tyrant, ruffian, and murderer," and was thus placarded through 


the streets of London. The journals, without distinction of party, 
swelled the general chorus. But in the midst of this din of pas- 
sion, the ministry, perceiving the justice of Jackson's course, 
stood firm. " At a later day of my mission," remarked Rush, 
then our representative at the English court, " Lord Castlereagh 
said to me that a war might have been produced on this occasion, 
' if the ministry had but held up a finger.' On so slender a thread do 
public affairs sometimes hang ! " 

In February, 1819, a treaty was concluded with Spain, by which 
she ceded Florida to the United States on the payment of five 
million dollars. 

Four new States were received into the Union during Monroe's 
first term. Mississippi was admitted December 10, 1817. It is 
named from the Mississippi River, the " Great Father of Waters." 
The State was first settled by the French in 17 16, but in 1763 was 
ceded to Great Britain, and became a part of Georgia. It was 
organized as a Territory in 1798. 

Illinois, the twenty-first State, was admitted December 3, 18 18. 
Its name is derived from its principal river, signifying " River of 
men." After Ohio and Indiana and the Territory of Michigan 
had been taken from the Northwest Territory, the remainder was 
styled the Illinois Territory, and comprised the present States of 
Illinois, Wisconsin, and a part of Minnesota. Its first permanent 
settlement was made by the French at Kaskaskia in 1682. It came 
to the English from the French in 1763, and to the United States 
in 1787, with the rest of the Northwestern Territory. Previous to 
this there had been a fort on the present site of Chicago, as ap- 
pears from a map published in Quebec, 1683. The fort was styled 
Checagou, an Indian name derived from Cheecaqua — strong — 
the title of a line of chiefs, and also of an onion which grows on the 
river banks. Fort Dearborn was built by the United States in 
1804. Here occurred, during the war of 181 2-14, the Indian mas- 
sacre already mentioned. The fort was then burned, but was re- 
built in 1 8 16, and was garrisoned until the red men moved beyond 
the Mississippi. For years after the admission of the State, this 
great metropolis was only a trading-station surrounded by the 
wigwams of the savages. 

Alabama, the twenty-second State, was received December 
14, 1 8 19. Its name signifies " Here we rest." The early history 
of this region is interwoven with that of French discovery. The 
first settlement was made in 1702, when a party of Frenchmen, 




under Bienville, built a fort 
on Mobile Bay. The pres- 
ent site of Mobile was oc- 
cupied in 171 1, the place 
having been an Indian vil- 
lage called Mavilla, and the 
scene of De Soto's most dis- 
astrous defeat. Having been 
ceded to the United States, 
Alabama was first incorpo- 
rated with Georgia, and 
afterward with the Missis- 
sippi Territory. 

Maine was admitted 
March 15, 1820. The Eng- 
lish under Cabot, in 1498, 
the French under Verrazani, 
in 1524, and the Spaniards 
under Gomez, in 1525, arc 
known to have made cur- 
sory visits to this region. 
In 1623, a permanent set- 
tlement was made at the 
mouth of the Piscataqua by 
a colony under Sir Ferdi- 
nand Gorges and Captain 
John Mason, which was fol- 
lowed by others at Saco, 
Biddeford, Scarborough, 
Cape Elizabeth, and Port- 
land. Massachusetts claimed 
this territory, and in 1677, 
to secure it, bought out the 
rights of the heirs of Gorges 
for six thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. Nova 
Scotia formed a portion of 
the purchase, but this was 
relinquished, the remainder 
being held until separated 
in 1820. 


Party strife having lulled, the " era of good feeling " was sig- 
nalized by the re-election of Monroe by the vote of every State in 
the Union. Daniel D. Tompkins was also again chosen Vice- 
President. With all this satisfactory condition of the present 
and brilliant promise for the future, that same year an apple of 
discord was cast into the politics of the country, the effect of 
which was felt for more than half a century. In March, 1818, a 
petition was presented to Congress from the Territory of Mis- 
souri, asking authority to form a constitution for a State. It was 
not acted upon at that session, but in February, 18 19, Mr. Tall- 
madge, a Republican of New York, moved an amendment prohib- 
iting the further introduction of slavery into the new State. A 
fierce debate of three days followed. The spirit exhibited is well 
illustrated by the remarks of two members. Mr. Cobb of Georgia 
said : " A fire has been kindled which all the waters of the ocean 
cannot put out, and which only seas of blood can extinguish." 
To which Mr. Tallmadge replied : " If civil war, which gentlemen 
so much threaten, must come, I can only say let it come ! . . . 
If blood is necessary to extinguish any fire which I have assisted 
to kindle, while I regret the necessity, I shall not hesitate to con- 
tribute my own." The Senate struck out the amendment, and 
the measure was lost. 

The next year, a bill having been introduced for the admission 
of Maine, a clause was adroitly attached authorizing Missouri to 
form a constitution without restrictions. They were separated, 
and on the 3d of March following both passed. To the Missouri 
bill, however, had been attached a section prohibiting slavery in 
all territories of the United States north of latitude 36 30'. This 
clause, known in our history as the Missouri Compromise, was 
warmly advocated by Henry Clay. Often did he rise during 
those days of strife as a mediator between contending factions, 
" imploring, entreating, beseeching " for peace and brotherhood. 
At one time, it is said, he spoke four hours and a half, pouring 
forth a continued stream of impassioned eloquence. 

The situation of the country at the end of the first twenty 
years of the century was very flattering. Its population in round 
numbers was nine million six hundred thousand. Previous to the 
war, its submission to the wrongs and insults of France and Great 
Britain had excited throughout Europe a contempt for the Amer- 
ican character. The general opinion was that the spirit of liberty 
and independence shown in the Revolution had been extinguished 




by a love of gain and commercial enterprise, and that there were 
not enough courage and resolution left to sustain the national 
rights and the national honor. But the war with England dissi- 
pated this impression, and inspired profound respect for a nation 
that gave so many proofs of its ability to cope with the mistress 
of the seas on her favorite element. The unanimity of parties, 
the high character of our statesmen, and the rapid growth of the 
country — all conspired to give the people confidence at home and 
to win deference abroad. The position of the United States 
among the peoples of the earth was now assured. 




HILE the fire of party feeling hai 
apparently died out, through the 
removal of old sources of dis- 
agreement, new issues were fast 
rising to kindle the embers to 
a more intense heat than ever. 
Slavery, State rights, and the 
tariff were already looming up 
along the political horizon with 
dire distinctness. Added to this, 
in spite of the rapid development 
of the country, its financial con- 
dition was alarming. Benton's 
statement of the " gloom and agony " of these years gives a vivid 
picture of the situation. " No money, either gold or silver, no 
measure or standard of value left remaining. The local banks (all 
but those of New England), after a brief resumption of specie pay- 
ments, again sunk into a state of suspension. The Bank of the 
United States, created as a remedy for all those evils, now at the 
head of the evil, prostrate and helpless, with no power left but tha 
of suing its debtors, and selling their property, and purchasing 
for itself at its own nominal price. No price for property or pro- 
duce. No sales but those of the sheriff and the marshal. No 
purchasers at execution sales but the creditor or some hoarder of 
money. No employment for industry. No demand for labor. 
No sale for the product of the farmer. No sound of the hammer 
but that of the auctioneer knocking down property. Stop laws, 
property laws, replevin laws, stay laws, loan-office laws, the inter- 
vention of the legislator between the creditor and the debtor ; this 
was the business of legislation in three-fourths of the States of the 


Union — of all south and west of New England. No medium of 
exchange but depreciated paper; no change even but little bits 
of foul paper, marked so many cents, and signed by some trades- 
man, barber, or innkeeper ; exchanges deranged to the extent of 
fifty or one hundred per cent. Distress, the universal cry of the 
people ; Relief, the universal demand thundered at the doors of 
all legislatures, State and federal." 

On the occasion of the recognition of the independence of 
Mexico and five provinces in South America, which had thrown 
off the yoke of Spain, the President enunciated a principle since 
famous as the Monroe Doctrine. In a message to Congress in 
1823 upon this subject, he says: "The American continents, by 
the free and independent position which they have assumed and 
maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for 
future colonization by any European power." 

Agitation had already commenced as to Monroe's successor in 
the presidential chair. There were no less than five prominent 
candidates, all from the ranks of the old Republican party — John 
Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford, John C. Calhoun, Henry 
Clay, and Andrew Jackson. Adams had the support of New 
England ; Crawford and Calhoun divided that of the South, and 
Clay and Jackson that of the West. 

The nomination of Jackson by the legislature of Tennessee 
was at first a matter of jest and sport. It was soon found, how- 
ever, that the hero of New Orleans was exceedingly popular with 
the masses. An incident which occurred at Washington was 
thought to have contributed to set the ball in motion. " A gen- 
tleman," says Spencer, " who was connected with the family of 
General Washington, having purchased, at the sale of his furni- 
ture, a pair of pistols which had been presented to the General by 
Lafayette, was disposed to give them to General Jackson, whose 
character he greatly admired ; but, unused to public speaking, he 
requested Colonel C. Fenton Mercer to act as his representative. 
This was accordingly done by a short speech in the presence of a 
number of persons, to which the general made a most grateful 
and felicitous reply ; all of which being published in a Washing- 
ton paper, was soon diffused by the press to every corner of the 
Union, and it was afterward the boast of the actors in this little 
drama that they had mainly contributed to make Andrew Jack- 
son President of the United States." 

Political circles were now convulsed by manoeuvres and in- 


trigues. A nomination by congressional caucus being considered 
injurious to the prospects of certain aspirants, the system was 
denounced. Crawford was the only one of the candidates thus 
endorsed, and this was considered by many as the cause of his 
defeat. The election resulted in ninety-nine votes for Jackson, 
eighty-four for Adams, forty-one for Crawford, and thirty-seven 
for Clay, thus referring the decision to the House of Representa- 
tives. John C. Calhoun, receiving one hundred and eighty-two 
votes, was declared Vice-President. Though Jackson had a popu- 
lar majority, yet when the choice came to be made in the House 
of Representatives, Adams was selected. It was charged that 
Clay threw his influence against Jackson, partly on account of a 
personal animosity, but largely because he had been promised by 
Adams, in the event of his election, the position of Secretary of 
State. This was, of course, denied by Clay and his friends ; but 
partisan speakers and papers rang the changes upon it for years. 

Pending the election, Lafayette, the " hero of two worlds," 
visited this country. He found the people for whom he had 
fought in his youth approaching the fiftieth year of their national 
life. From the moment of his arrival at New York, August, 1824, 
until September, 1825, when about to depart in the frigate Brandy- 
wine, named in his honor, his journey was one continued march 
of triumph and joy. The people feted and caressed him, while 
Congress voted him two hundred thousand dollars in money and 
a township of land. He visited the tomb of Washington ; and, on 
the fiftieth anniversary of the battle, laid the corner-stone of the 
Bunker Hill monument. 

Missouri, the twenty-fourth State, was admitted August 10, 
1 82 1. Its name is derived from that of its principal river, and 
means "muddy water." In 1755, St. Genevieve was founded by 
the French. Pierre Ligueste Laclede, having obtained from the 
governor of Louisiana the right to trade with the Indians on the 
Missouri, in 1764 established a post which he styled St. Louis, in 
honor of Louis XV. of France. On Laclede's death, Auguste Chou- 
teau became his successor. In 1780, St. Louis was a depot of a 
profitable fur trade, having a population of about eight hundred 
persons. French manners and customs prevailed. The houses 
were generally built of logs, roughly hewn and set on end. In 
1804, the stars and stripes were raised over the embryo city. It 
was not incorporated as a town until 1809. The first brick house 
was erected in 1813, 




With the conclusion of Monroe's administration, the Repub- 
lic, as if to mark the completion of half a century of its existence, 
passed from under the control of men who had been distinctly 
associated with the Revolution, into the hands of a new generation. 

There are some curious circumstances connected with the first 
five Presidents of the Republic. In the ages of John Adams, Jef- 


ferson, Madison, and Monroe, there was a regular sequence, each 
being eight years older than his successor. Like Washington 
and John Quincy Adams, they were all inaugurated in their fifty- 
eighth year, and, with the exception of the latter named, closed 
their terms of office in their sixty-sixth year. Had John Quincy 
Adams been re-elected, his second term would also have expired 
at that age. One to whom we are indebted for this investigation, 
makes here the shrewd inquiry, " Did he mark the turning-point 
in our national career?" Of the first five Presidents, the only 
one who had a son, lived to see him elected to the same high 
office, an event which has not occurred since, and does not seem 


likely ever again to happen. Virginia, the " Mother of Presidents," 
furnished four of the first five, and, singularly enough, all — Wash- 
ington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe — were born within a few 
miles of one another. 

John Quincy Adams was inaugurated sixth President of the 
United States, March 4, 1825. He was dressed, it was noted, in 
a plain black suit of American cloth. 

Adams was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, July n, 1767. 
He gives the following account of the origin of his name : " My 
great-grandfather, John Quincy, was dying when I was baptized, 
and his daughter, my grandmother, requested I might receive his 
name. This fact has connected with my name a charm of mingled 
sensibility and devotion. It was filial tenderness that gave th3 
name. It was that of one passing from earth to immortality. 
These have been through life perpetual admonitions to do nothing 
unworthy of it." He had a splendid education, not only such 
as is drawn from books and schools, but from the companionship 
of wise and distinguished men. He early entered upon a political 
career, and held in succession nearly every prominent office in the 
gift of his fellow-citizens. In personal appearance, he was of mid- 
dle stature and full form ; his eyes were dark and piercing ; his 
countenance was pleasing and beamed with intelligence. 

The new cabinet consisted of Henry Clay, Secretary of State ; 
Richard Rush of Pennsylvania, Secretary of the Treasury ; James 
Barbour of Virginia, Secretary of War ; William Wirt, Attorney- 
General ; and Samuel L. Southard of New Jersey, Secretary of the 

From first to last, the administration of Adams met with de- 
termined and bitter opposition. Scarcely a suggestion made by 
the President was adopted. The friends of General Jackson were 
largely in the majority in both Houses, and believing that Adams 
had succeeded by means of a bargain, and being also determined 
to prevent his re-election and secure the triumph of Jackson, they 
threw discredit upon all his measures. 

During this year, troubles sprang up in Georgia among the 
Creek Indians, with whom a treaty had been made, extinguishing 
their title to lands in that State, and giving them large tracts west 
of the Mississippi. It was claimed that the chiefs who signed the 
agreement were not properly authorized. An appeal was made to 
Washington, and the President sent General Gaines to prevent an 
outbreak. Meanwhile the governor of Georgia, having begun a 


survey of the land, used high language toward the administration. 
The matter was finally allowed to rest till the meeting of Con- 
gress, when a new treaty was negotiated. 

The United States having been invited to send commissioners 
to a congress, at Panama., of the South American provinces which 
had thrown off the Spanish yoke, the President accepted. During 
the debate upon the question in Congress, the administration was 
bitterly denounced. John Randolph declared, " I am defeated, 
horse, foot, and dragoons — cut up and clean broke down, by 
the coalition of Blifil and Black George — by the combination, 
unheard of till now, of the Puritan and the black-leg." This bit- 
ter diatribe led to a duel between Randolph and Clay, in which 
neither was injured, but in which their " honor was satisfied." 

The question of internal improvements was vigorously agi- 
tated at this time. Large appropriations were made for a canal 
route across Florida ; for sundry post-roads ; for repairing the 
national road between Cumberland, Maryland, and Ohio; for 
improving the navigation of the Ohio River ; and to the asylum 
for the deaf and dumb in Kentucky. The government took one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars of stock in the Dismal Swamp 
Company ; surveyed harbors on the seacoast, and deepened 
channels ; reserved lands for seminaries of learning in Louisiana, 
in Florida, and in Arkansas; and granted tracts in Illinois and 
Indiana to aid in building canals. 

The constitutionality of such appropriations, then as now, was 
earnestly discussed, and the opposition was vigilant and belliger- 
ent. A funny story is told in this connection. There was a bill 
before the Pennsylvania Legislature in regard to some public 
improvements, which was strenuously opposed by the member 
from Berks county, and with so much zeal that its passage was 
endangered. Nicholas Biddle, afterward President of the United 
States Bank, moved an amendment, appropriating ten thousand 
dollars for the improvement of the Alimentary Canal. The mem- 
ber from Berks rose instantly, and, notwithstanding the titters that 
grew audible over the House, declared his purpose to oppose any 
appropriation for the Alimentary Canal or any other canal, as 
it was unjust, oppressive, and unconstitutional. The amendment 
was immediately withdrawn and the bill passed. 

The most magnificent enterprise that marked this period was 
the Erie Canal, to complete which took eight years of time and 
ten million dollars of money. An Irishman named Christopher 


Colles is entitled to the credit of having made the first suggestion 
of this great undertaking. He came to New York before the 
Revolution, and in 1785 issued a pamphlet called "Proposals for 
the Speedy Settlement of the Western Frontier of New York." 
It contained a plan for the canal, but it was considered utterly- 
impracticable. In 1 8 10, De Witt Clinton advocated the measure 
in the senate of New York, and it afterward found strong sup- 
porters in General Schuyler, Gouvcrneur Morris, Martin Van 
Buren, and others. It still met, however, with opposition and 
ridicule. An epigram of the period, alluding to Clinton, shows 
something of the spirit existing : 

" Oh, a ditch he would dig, from the lakes to the sea, 
The eighth of the world's matchless wonders to be. 
Good land ! how absurd ! But why should you grin ? 
It will do to bury its mad author in." 

Work was not commenced upon it until the 4th of July, 181 7, 
when Governor Clinton, in the presence of many thousands of 
citizens and amid great demonstrations of joy, threw the first 
spadeful of earth. Even then the people were incredulous. It 
was a common remark, " If I can live until Clinton's ditch is done, 
I shall be content." The first portion navigated by boats was the 
line of one hundred and seventy-four miles between Rochester- 
ville — now Rochester, then a hamlet of less than three thousand 
inhabitants — and Little Falls ; the first boat passing east on the 
29th of October, 1822. 

On the 26th of October, 1825, the whole canal was formally 
opened by a magnificent celebration. The governor, State 
officers, and invited. guests took passage from Buffalo for New 
York in a gorgeously-decorated boat, accompanied by a numerous 
fleet. As they started, the news was telegraphed in advance, by 
means of about fifty cannon placed ten or a dozen miles apart. 
An hour and thirty minutes from the firing of the first gun, the 
report reached New York. Along the entire route, day and 
night, the people were assembled to greet the excursionists. 
They arrived at Albany on the 2d of November, and thence all 
the steamboats on the Hudson River escorted them to the 
metropolis. One of the ceremonies near Sandy Hook was the 
emptying of a keg of Lake Erie water into the Atlantic, thus typu 
fying the union of the waters of the lake with those of the ocean. 

In the year 1825, the Capitol at Washington was completed. 



The outer walls had been uninjured by the fire of 18 14, and an 
architect named Latrobe was appointed by Congress to superin- 
tend its reconstruction. He remained in charge until 181 7, when 
he was succeeded by Charles Bullfinch. The foundation of the 
central building was laid March 24, 18 18, the entire edifice being 
finally finished according to the original plan. Congress in the 
meantime held its sessions, first in the building used by the Post- 
office Department ; afterward in a building on the east side of 
Capitol Park. The latter situation was thus occupied for fifteen 
years, and became known as the " Old Capitol." It acquired a 
not very pleasant reputation during the civil war as a govern- 
ment prison. 


In 1826, the Republic reached its semi-centennial, and the 
anniversary of its birthday was generally celebrated. But the 
occasion had other observances than the ringing of bells, the 
firing of cannon, or the shouts of a joyous people. On that day 
died the two patriots, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. A 
short time before, a gentleman called upon Adams and requested 
a toast for a banquet on the coming celebration. " I will give 
you, Independence forever," said the old man. " Will you not 
add something to it ? " asked the visitor. " Not a word," was 
the reply. The toast was presented at the dinner, and received 
with deafening cheers. Almost at the same moment, the soul 
of the statesman passed away. His last words were, " Thomas 
Jefferson still survives." 


It was not so ; from his beautiful home at Monticello, he had 
gone an hour or two before. As midnight of the 3d ap- 
proached, his friends had stood, watch in hand, hoping for yet a 
few moments of life, so that his death might be hallowed by 
taking place on the 4th. Their pious wish was granted. He 
still lived as the slow hours wore on ; and it was not till past 
noon that he peacefully breathed his last. 

The year 1827 witnessed the building of the first railroad in 
the United States at Quincy, Massachusetts. It was operated by 
horse-power, and was three miles in length, from the granite 
quarries to the Neponset River. In the same year, another road, 
nine miles long, was laid out from the coal mines at Mauch 
Chunk, Pennsylvania, to the Lehigh River. The next year, the 
Delaware and Hudson Canal Company constructed a road from 
their coal mines to Honesdale, a locomotive being imported from 
England. It was the first steam-engine used in the United States 


It is still in good preservation, and will be exhibited at the Cen- 
tennial Exposition. Other railroad enterprises rapidly followed ; 
notably those of the Baltimore and Ohio road, begun in 1828, and 
of the Albany and Schenectady, in 1830. The South Carolina 
road, from Charleston to Hamburg, a distance of one hundred 
and thirty-five miles, opened in 1833, was then the lcngest line in 
the world. 

The administration was in favor of what is known as the 
" American System," i. e. y the protection of home manufactures 
by means of duties laid upon foreign goods. This was naturally 
acceptable to the East, largely devoted to manufacture ; and ob- 
noxious to the South, equally devoted to agricultural pursuits. 
During the year a tariff bill was passed which was so onerous that it 
was called in many quarters the " Bill of Abominations." We shall 
hear of it again in connection with the nullification acts of 1832. 

The political campaign of 1828 was animated and bitter in the 
extreme. Although the friends of Adams put forth every effort 
for his re-election, he refused, with commendable delicacy, to use 


the patronage or influence of the Executive to further their ends 
or to ensure his own continuance in the presidential chair. Many 
of the office-holders under him were openly at work for Jack- 
son, and appointments were made by the President of men who 
were avowed friends of his opponent. 

The term Federal now disappeared, the supporters of Jackson 
adopting the name of Democrat, and their opponents that of 
" National Republicans." The election resulted in the choice of 
Jackson for President and Calhoun for Vice-President, the for- 
mer receiving one hundred and seventy-eight, and the latter one 
hundred and seventy -one, out of two hundred and sixty -one 

It is a noticeable fact that in the last three administrations, the 
President had been the Secretary of State for the preceding one. 
Clay, at this time filling the office, was said to be in " the succes- 
sion." The order was now broken. 

The administration of Adams had been a peaceful, and, in spite 
of the financial embarrassments of the country, a prosperous one. 
The public debt had been diminished over thirty million dollars, 
while there was a surplus of five million one hundred and twenty- 
five thousand six hundred and thirty-eight dollars in the treasury. 

Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the Republic, took 
the oath of office March 4, 1829 ; for the first time in the history 
of this country, the out-going President absenting himself during 
the inauguration of his successor. Jackson was born of Scotch- 
Irish parents at Waxhaw Settlement, S. C, March 15, 1767. In 
his youth, he experienced the bitterness of poverty and the absence 
of parental care. Removing to Tennessee in 1788, he speedily 
acquired the respect of the hardy settlers of that region, and 
occupied several prominent offices. He gained his wide popu- 
larity, however, as a soldier. It was on the field that he won 
the sobriquet by which he is best known, that of " Old Hickory." 

When the people thus bestow upon a citizen a homely title, by 
which he is almost as well known as by his own name, it is 
exceedingly significant both of his character and their confidence. 
There are many illustrations of this in our history, such as " Tip- 
pecanoe and Tyler too," in 1840; "Old Rough and Ready," in 
1848 ; " Buck and Breck," in 1856 : and " Uncle Abe," in i860. The 
familiarity is not of that kind which breeds contempt, but is mag- 
netic and excites enthusiasm. The popular voice seems thus to 
cry out, " He is one of us. We will support him." 


Jackson was rough, uneducated, and irascible. During the 
trial of Burr in Richmond, while he was haranguing a crowd, 
Winfield Scott, having inquired the name of the speaker, re- 
ceived for a reply, " A great blackguard from Tennessee, one 
Andrew Jackson." He was impatient of restraint, incapable of 
fear, and a principal in a number of duels. Yet he was affable, 
humane, considerate, and, at the bottom, a Christian — if not until 
the later years of his life a professing one, at least always having 
great respect for those who were religious. 

While he was yet connected with the army, an officer com- 
plained to him that some soldiers were making a great noise in a 
tent. " What are they doing ? " asked the general. " They are 
praying now, but have been singing," was the reply. " And is 
that a crime?" asked Jackson, with emphasis. "The Articles of 
War," said the officer, " order punishment for any unusual noise." 
" God forbid," replied the general, with much feeling, " that 
praying and singing should be an unusual noise in my camp ; 
I advise you to go and join them." 

" I arrived at his house," says Colonel Benton, " one wet, 
chilly evening in February, 1814, and came upon him in the 
twilight, sitting alone before the fire, a lamb and a child between 
his knees. He started a little, called a servant to remove the two 
innocents to another room, and explained to me how it was. The 
child had cried because the lamb was out in the cold, and begged 
him to bring it in, which he had done, to please the child, his 
adopted son, then not two years old." 

A son of the famous Daniel Boone was once detained in Nash- 
ville for some weeks, and had taken lodgings at a small tavern. 
Jackson heard of it, went to Nashville, and, carrying him to his 
home as a guest as long as his business should keep him in that 
section, said, " Your father's dog should not stay in a tavern, 
where I have a house." 

In person, Jackson was as angular as he was in character. He 
was tall, straight, and spare. His dark blue eyes, with brows 
arched and slightly projecting, possessed a marked expression, 
and when he was excited, they sparkled with peculiar lustre and 

Jackson's election was shorn of half its brightness for him by 
the loss of her who would have helped him to bear the trust with 
fidelity and honor. His wife was one of the purest and noblest of 
women, and yet, in the heat of the political contest just ended, 




slander had dared to sully her name. She had been the wife 
of a dissolute man, from whom she had obtained a divorce, 
immediately after which Jackson married her. A number of years 
later, he learned that what he had understood to be a divorce was 
only the granting of a petition to sue 
for one. He immediately procured 
a license, and had the marriage cere- 
mony performed the second time. The 
influence she had exerted over him 
while she Kved, seemed to strengthen 
and deepen when she was no longer 
with him, and his rough nature was 
chastened and softened thereby. He 
clung to her memory, cherishing with 
fondness everything that had possessed 
her affection, and wearing her minia- 
ture next to his heart until the day 
of his death. In no one way was the 
change in him more marked than in 
his language. He never again used 
that expletive that has become histor- 
ical, " By the Eternal," nor any other 
that could be considered profane. 

Jackson's cabinet was composed 
of entirely new men : Martin Van Buren of New York, Secretary 
of State ; Samuel D. Ingham of Pennsylvania, Secretary of the 
Treasury; John H. Eaton of Tennessee, Secretary of War; John 
Branch of North Carolina, Secretary of the Navy ; John M. Ber- 
rien of Georgia, Attorney-General ; and it having been deter- 
mined to make the Postmaster-General a member of the cabinet, 
William T. Barry of Kentucky was appointed to that position. 

The change in the cabinet was no more complete than that 
which followed in the public offices of the government. Formerly 
displacements had been confined to the most prominent posi- 
tions, but now they reached the lowest. Under Washington's ad- 
ministration, there had been nine officers removed, of whom one 
was a defaulter; under John Adams's, ten, one being a defaulter; 
under Jefferson's, thirty-nine ; under Madison's, five, three being 
defaulters ; under Monroe's, nine, six for cause ; and under John 
Quincy Adams's, two, both for cause ; the whole number of re- 
movals by the six Presidents being seventy-four. During the 



recess, before the meeting of the Twenty-first Congress, Jackson 
removed one hundred and sixty-seven political opponents from 
office, appointing his friends to the positions. Within less than 
a year, four hundred and ninety-one postmasters alone were dis- 

Some politicians in whom the general had confidence, wishing 
lim to remove the collector of the port of Salem, Massachusetts, 
.he name of his successor was accordingly sent to the Senate. 
" Do you know," asked Colonel Benton of the President, " who it 
is whom you are about to remove ? " " No," replied he, " I cant 
think of his name ; but I know he is an incompetent man, and a 
New England, Hartford Convention Federalist!" "Sir," said 
Benton, " the incumbent is General Miller, who was a brave soldier 
on the Niagara frontier." Jackson excitedly exclaimed, " Not the 
brave Miller who said, ' I'll try,' when asked if he could take the 
British battery ? " " The same man, sir," responded Benton. " Old 
Hickory " pulled a bell violently, and when the servant appeared, 
he said, " Tell Colonel Donelson I want him — quick." " Donel- 
son," said the President, as soon as he entered, " I want the name 
of that fellow nominated for collector at Salem withdrawn in- 
stantly. These politicians are the most remorseless scoundrels 
alive. Write a letter to General Miller, and tell him he shall hold 
the office as long as Andrew Jackson lives. Stay — I'll write it 
myself; the assurance will be more gratifying from a brother- 
soldier." That promise was faithfully kept. 

In September, 1829, the owner of the schooner Michigan, the 
largest and rottenest craft on Lake Erie, hit upon a plan to get it 
off his hands, and at the same time turn an honest penny. He 
induced the proprietors of hotels on both sides of Niagara Falls 
to buy the schooner and send it over the falls. For several days 
previous to the novel event, the stages and canal-boats, and 
wagons from the country, were crowded. Farmers left their 
fields, and business men their counters. On the appointed day, 
half a dozen excursion steamers were called into service. Each 
had its throng of expectant people and a band of music. The task 
of towing the Michigan to the rapids was entrusted to one Cap- 
tain Rough and five oarsmen. They put up some effigies, and 
then let loose on board a buffalo from the Rocky Mountains, 
three bears from Green Bay and Grand River, two foxes, a 
raccoon, a dog, a cat, and four geese. When they cut the tow- 
line, this extraordinary crew did what many other crews have 



done — ran from one end of the deck to the other in despair. The 
ship started off majestically, amid the huzzas of the eager specta- 
tors who crowded the high shores on either side. She darted 
through the first rapids as true as any pilot could have guided 
her. Two of the bears then plunged into the rapids, swam to 
land, and were caught. The remaining one attempted to climb 
the rigging. As the vessel descended the second rapids, her mast 
went by the board. She then swung partly around and presented 
her broadside to the foaming waters. Here she remained station- 
ary for a few moments, poised on the waves. Then she shot to 
the third rapids, where she bilged, but carried her hull, appar- 
ently whole, between Grass Island and the British shore to the 
Horseshoe, over which she plunged, stern foremost. The ship 
was dashed into a thousand pieces. The cat, the dog, and the 
foxes were never heard of more ; but the geese were found below 
on the bank quietly oiling their feathers. The effigy of Andrew 
Jackson was also uninjured — like the geese, as some papers dryly 
remarked — -and was greeted with shouts as it threw its arms 
about and knocked its knees together in the eddies. 

December 29, 1829, Mr. Foot of Connecticut introduced into 
the Senate a series of resolutions in relation to the public lands. 
The discussion which followed lasted several weeks and took a 
wide range, including almost every issue that party feeling or po- 
litical ambition could raise. Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina, 
a brilliant and engaging orator, in the course of a speech, January 
19th, attacked the policy of the government toward the Western 
States, favored the idea of giving the public lands to the settlers, 
and objected to a tariff in preference to direct taxation. Daniel 
Webster of Massachusetts replied, deprecating the light value 
which seemed to be placed upon the Union, and defending the 
tariff and the action of the East with regard to it, as well as to the 
public lands and all Western interests. Two days after, Hayne 
rejoined, declaring that Webster had once opposed the tariff 
which he then advocated ; supporting the institution of slavery : 
deprecating the consolidation of the Union ; asserting the right 
of a State to resist the execution of a law she deems unconstitu- 
tional ; and taunting the East with the Hartford Convention and 
its opposition to the war of 18 12-14. January 26th, Webster 
delivered his second great speech, and the one which gave him 
the proud title of the " Defender of the Constitution." After jus- 
tifying his own course and the history of Massachusetts, he closed 




with the memorable words, " Liberty and union, now and forever, 
one and inseparable ! " 

The feelings entertained by the mass of the people during this 
lengthy debate are well evidenced by an incident related of a 
farmer-friend of Webster, who regarded him with something akin 
to worship. He had watched the proceedings in Congress with 
anxious solicitude. Day followed day, and made themselves into 
weeks, and yet his hero had not spoken. He felt that the coun- 
try's safety depended upon Webster, and his silence indicated 


that nothing could be said on the side of the Constitution, and 
portended disaster to the Republic. At length came the speech 
of Hayne denouncing the Union. He took to his bed, convinced 
that Webster was crushed. In a few days, Webster's reply was 
brought to him. For some time he refused to read it; but finally, 
glancing at a portion, he suddenly seized the paper and perused 
the first few calm and dignified sentences : " When the mariner 
has been tossed for many days in thick weather and on an un- 
known sea, he naturally avails himself of the first pause in the 
storm, the earliest glance of the sun, to take his latitude and ascer- 
tain how far the elements have driven him from his true course. 
Let us imitate his prudence, and, before we float further on the 
waves of this debate, refer to the point from which we departed, 
that we may at least be able to conjecture where we now are. I 
ask for the reading of the resolution." It was enough. In the 


joy of the moment, he threw the paper high in air, and cried 
out to his son, " Boy, bring me my boots. Webster has spoken ! " 
From that instant he was a well man. 

During the first session of the Twenty-first Congress, Jackson 
used the veto-power four times, while Washington had employed 
it only twice during his entire presidency, and the Adamses and 
Jefferson not at all. 

The President became personally alienated from Calhoun on 
learning that he had been opposed to him during the Seminole 
:ampaign ; and politically, on account of his support of the doc- 
trine of nullification. Calhoun being a candidate for the next 
presidency, with a strong following, a rupture arose in the cab- 
inet, which led to the resignation of all its members. Scandal, 
ever busy with Jackson's private as well as public life, attributed 
the disagreement to the influence of Mrs. Eaton, wife of the 
Secretary of War, with whom many ladies, especially the wives 
of the Calhoun leaders, refused to associate. Jackson attempted 
to control these matters of social etiquette, but only aggravated 
the feeling. . 

The new cabinet consisted of Edward Livingston of Louisiana, 
Secretary of State ; Lewis Cass of Michigan, Secretary of War ; 
Louis McLane of Delaware, Secretary of the Treasury ; Levi 
Woodbury of New Hampshire, Secretary of the Navy ; and 
Roger B. Taney of Maryland, Attorney-General. 

James Monroe died in New York July 4, 1831. This sad 
event, occurring on the fifty-fifth anniversary of the nation's birth, 
five years after that of Adams and Jefferson, afforded occasion for 
grave reflection, and seemed pregnant with some mysterious 
moral lesson. 

In this year, John Quincy Adams took his seat in the House 
as representative from Massachusetts. It was the only instance 
that had happened of one who had been the Chief Executive after 
ward taking part in the deliberations of the legislative branch ot 
the government. He was returned by his constituents eight times 
The influence and fame of the " Old Man Eloquent " grew contin 
ually, in spite of his " stormy petrel " character. At his death ia 
1848, he had served his country in high public trusts for fifty- 
three years — a longer period than any other statesman in our 

Perhaps the most important event of the year, judged by its 
influence in forming the germ of those dissensions that culminated 


thirty years afterward, was the establishment in Boston by Wil- 
liam Lloyd Garrison of " The Liberator," a weekly journal 
devoted to the advocacy of the most decided and uncompro- 
mising anti-slavery views. Its motto was, " My country is the 
world, my countrymen are all mankind." Though finding some 
sympathizers, it was condemned nearly everywhere at the North, 
and in the South excited the most intense exasperation. Garrison 
was threatened with assassination, and was in peril of his life even 
in Boston. 

The United States Bank, the creation of Hamilton, was the 
custodian of the public funds and the centre of a constantly 
expanding paper currency. Jackson always regarded this insti- 
tution as an unsound stimulus to trade, a promoter of unhealthy 
speculation and extravagant habits, and a huge moneyed mo- 
nopoly, possessing a tremendous latent power of corruption, and 
capable of becoming the " scourge of the people." As its second 
charter would expire in 1836, a new one was granted in 1832. 
The bill, however, was vetoed by the President, and Congress 
sustained his action. 

When the first charter expired in 181 1, the amount of its un- 
redeemed bills was two hundred and five thousand dollars. In 
1823, twelve years having elapsed, the court decided that the 
stockholders should no longer be liable. A fund of five thousand 
dollars was, however, reserved for any instances of peculiar hard- 
ship which might arise. The whole amount presented was eleven 
hundred dollars, of which the greater portion was in the hands of 
an invalid Revolutionary soldier, and not paid until 1825. Curi- 
ously enough, a note of ten dollars was redeemed only about 
twelve years since. 

Many ot the agricultural States had protested against the 
tariff of 1828. In June, 1832, Congress passed a new protec- 
tive bill. South Carolina instantly took the lead in opposition. 
Her legislature nullified the act of Congress, and prepared to 
resist the collection of the revenue at Charleston. Jackeon at 
once issued a proclamation calling upon the people of South 
Carolina to return to their loyalty, and ordering the naval and 
military forces of the Republic to Charleston to enforce the laws. 
This prompt action put an end to the threatened secession. As a 
pacifying measure, Clay came forward in Congress with his cele- 
brated " Tariff Compromise," which provided for a gradual 
reduction of all duties above the revenue standard. Clay, being 




told that his action would injure his prospects for the presidency, 
nobly replied, " I would rather be right than be President." 

June 21, 1832, occurred in New York the first case in this 
country of that scourge of mankind, the Asiatic cholera. As it 
swept over the land, it appalled the stoutest-hearted, and for a 


time carried dismay into the ranks of the medical profession. In 
New Orleans alone, there were sixteen hundred and sixty-eight 
deaths in thirteen days. 

A treaty had been made with the Sacs and the Foxes, by 
which they agreed to cede their lands to the government and to 
remove beyond the Mississippi. As they were reluctant to leave, 
the governor of Illinois called out the militia to enforce its pro- 
visions. The Indians were exasperated, and in March, 1832, the 
Sacs, Foxes, and Winnebagoes recrossed the Mississippi under 
their chief, Black Hawk, and committed many depredations. The 
United States troops defeated the Indians in several skirmishes, 
followed them into their lurking-place, and captured Black Hawk 
and other chiefs. The captives were taken to the principal 
cities of the East, that they might see the power of the govern- 
ment against which they were contending. They returned home, 
advising their people to bury the hatchet, and the warriors 
accordingly retired to Iowa. 




The friends of the administration were agreed that Jackson 
should be nominated for another term ; but to decide who should 
have the second place, a Democratic convention, the first in this 
country, was held at Baltimore, May, 1832. Martin Van Buren 
of New York was chosen. The " National Republicans," com- 
posed of the enemies of Jackson and the friends of Calhoun, met 
at Baltimore December 5, 1831, and put in nomination Henry 
Clay for President, and John Sergeant of Pennsylvania for Vice- 

There was still another ticket in the field, that of the Anti- 
Masonic party, which arose in this wise: In 1826, William Mor- 
gan of Batavia, N. Y., was taken from his home at night and 
never heard of afterward. The Masonic fraternity was charged 
with having murdered him for violating his oath and publishing 
the secrets of the order. Much mystery surrounds the case even 
to this day. At the time it caused an intense excitement. The 
issue between the Masons and their enemies became a political 
one. A party was organized, which eventually brought into prom- 
inence such men as Thurlow Weed and William H. Seward. A 
national convention was called at Philadelphia, which named for 
the presidency William Wirt of Maryland, and for the vice-presi- 
dency Amos Ellmaker of Pennsylvania. 

The election gave General Jackson two hundred and nineteen 
votes ; Henry Clay, forty-nine ; John Floyd, eleven ; and William 
Wirt, seven ; for Vice-President, Van Buren, one hundred and 

eighty -nine; John Sergeant, 
forty-nine ; William Wilkins, 
thirty ; Henry Lee, eleven ; 
Amos Ellmaker, seven. The 
vote of South Carolina was 
given to Floyd and Lee. 

Jackson, feeling that his 
administration had received 
the unmistakable approval of 
the nation, struck another 
blow at the United States 
Bank. Being informed that it was using large sums for poli- 
tical purposes, he conceived that the public money was unsafe 
in its keeping. In opposition to Congress and the advice of 
his cabinet, he accordingly, in 1833, removed the deposits from 
its vaults. A panic ensued ; distress prevailed through the coun- 



try ; countless petitions poured in against the measure ; Congress 
protested ; yet through it all the old hero struggled, confident 
that he was right. During the depression, two attempts were 
made upon his life — one by a crazy house-painter, who had been 
told that Jackson was the cause of his being out of employment ; 
the other by a naval lieutenant named Randolph. In the Senate, 
the President was supported by the sturdy Thomas H. Benton 
of Missouri and the accomplished John Forsyth of Georgia. But 
against these was that trio of statesmen — Clay, Calhoun, and 
Webster, who made memorable the age in which they lived. 

Jackson's opponents now organized themselves as Whigs. 
The name had belonged to the patriots of the Revolution, which 
was not so long passed that its memories had lost their fragrance. 
The derivation of the term is forgotten. Among the probable 
ones are : a bibulous origin, from a Scotch drink of that name ; a 
religious one, from the initial letters of the motto of the Cove- 
nanters, " We hope in God " ; and a political one, from the 
Covenanters themselves, who were called Whiggamors or Whigs, 
and who, in 1648, marched upon Edinburgh, whence all who op- 
posed the English court came to be called Whigs. The cardinal 
principles of the new party were a high protective tariff, a 
national bank, and a generous policy of public improvements. 

The opposition procured the passage in the Senate of a reso- 
lution declaring that the President, in removing the public de- 
posits, had assumed authority not conferred by the Constitution 
and laws, but in derogation of both. Three years after, a motion 
of Benton's was adopted expunging it from the records, and it 
now stands with a square of broad black lines about it, and over 
its face, written in bold characters, the order of the Senate 
directing its cancellation. 

On the night of November 13, 1833, occurred the grandest 
display of shooting meteors on record. The falling stars filled 
the heavens thick as snow-flakes. Fire-balls darted through the 
air, one in North Carolina being as large as the moon, while at 
Niagara Falls another hung over the cataract, darting streams of 
fire into the falling waters. A Southern planter thus narrates the 
effect of the phenomenon on the minds of his slaves : " I was sud- 
denly awakened by the most distressing cries that ever fell on my 
ears. Shrieks of horror and calls for mercy I could hear from 
most of the negroes of the three plantations, amounting in all to 
about six or eight hundred. While earnestly listening for the 


cause, I heard a faint voice near the door calling my name. I 
arose, and, taking my sword, stood at the door. At this moment, 
I heard the same voice, still beseeching me to rise, and saying, 
" O my God, the world is on fire ! " I then opened the door, and 
it is difficult to say which excited me the most — the awfulness of 
the scene or the distressed cries of the negroes. Upward of one 
hundred lay prostrate on the ground, some speechless, and some 
with the bitterest cries, but with their hands raised, imploring 
God to save the world and them. The scene was truly awful ; 
for never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward 
the earth." 

The winter of 1834-5 was remarkable for its severity. The 
7th of February was long quoted as the " cold Saturday." At 
several places in New York, mercury congealed in the thermome- 
ters. The Chesapeake Bay was frozen over. The Savannah 
River at Augusta, Georgia, was coated with ice. Orange trees 
as far south as St. Augustine, and fig trees one hundred years old 
in Georgia, were killed. The snow in many of the Southern 
States was a foot deep. 

.The venerable John Marshall, for nearly thirty-five years Chief- 
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, died July 6, 
1835. The President appointed as his successor Roger Brooke 
Taney of Maryland, who held the position until 1864; the chief 
judicial office of the Republic being thus in the hands of only two 
men for over sixty years. 

This decade witnessed a complete revolution in the manage- 
ment of the daily press. Previous to 1833, the newspaper of the 
day was but a journal of opinion and fancy, rather than one of 
incident and fact. It was devoted to political essays ; personal 
abuse of opponents ; panegyrics on the partisan leaders with 
whom it happened to agree or to whom it was indebted for 
money or influence, and whose speeches and orations it pub- 
lished in full ; letters from abroad and frequent fiction, with the 
smallest possible space devoted to actual occurrences. It was 
high in price, large in size, and exceedingly dull in matter. The 
purely literary periodical press possessed many of the same 
characteristics. On the 3d of September, 1833, the first number 
of the New York Sun was issued, at a cent per copy, by Benja- 
min H. Day, who, from this circumstance, is entitled to be called 
the father of the penny press and cheap literature in the United 
States. It was a small sheet, but was filled with news. Its sale 


gave employment to the first news-boys whose voices were ever 
heard in our streets. On the 6th of May, 1835, the Sun was 
followed by the Herald, at the same price, published by James 
Gordon Bennett, who originated many of the departments now 
so common, such as the city news and the reports of the money 
market. He was the first to collect intelligence from all parts 
of the country. In April, 1841, the New York Tribune was 
founded by Horace Greeley. These three journals were the 
exponents of the new order of things in the periodical press, and 
speedily had followers in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and 
other prominent cities. Their cheapness and ability created that 
taste for reading which has grown into a passion and become a 
marked characteristic of our countrymen. 

Wednesday night, December 16, 1835, a fire broke out in Com- 
stock & Andrew's store, on Merchant street, New York. For 
fourteen hours it raged unchecked, destroying property to the 
extent of twenty million dollars, and leaving forty-five acres of 
land covered with ashes. But one building remained standing in 
the burnt district, looking in its loneliness like an oasis in a desert. 
It was Benson's fire-proof, copper store, at No. 83 Water Street. 

Trouble had now again arisen with France. Five million dol- 
lars were due the United States for injuries done to our commerce 
during Napoleon's war. Payment being neglected, Jackson inter- 
fered with his sharp, stern will, ordered our minister to leave the 
French court, and recommended Congress to authorize reprisals. 
France resented this spirited action, but paid the money. Den- 
mark, Naples, Spain, and Portugal, also, in good time, settled 
their bills of a similar nature. 

During this year, the Seminoles in Florida, under the lead of 
Osceola, a half-breed of great bravery and talents, broke into open 
hostility. They were discontented with a proposed removal be- 
yond the Mississippi, but the immediate cause was the seizure of 
Osceola's wife as a slave, while on a visit to Fort King. The chief 
was so defiant, that General Thompson, the government agent, 
put him in irons. Dissembling his wrath, Osceola consented to 
the treaty ; but no sooner was he released than, burning with in- 
dignation, he plotted a general massacre of the whites. General 
Thompson was shot and scalped while sitting at dinner, under the 
very guns of Fort King. The same day, Major Dade, marching 
to the relief of the fort with over one hundred men, was waylaid 
near the Wahoo Swamp. In the midst of the fight, the Indians 




fell back for a consultation. The troops immediately began to 
build a breastwork of logs, but before it was knee-high the sav- 
ages returned yelling and firing, and soon carried the little en- 
trenchment. A young officer, it is said the only one of the party 
not dead or mortally wounded, tendered them his sword, but was 
immediately shot. In the following February, General Gaines 
visited the scene of the massacre. He found the little breastwork, 
mute witness of the desperate energy of the hour, its logs pierced 


with bullets, and behind it the men, kneeling or lying as they 
were when they received the fatal shot. The dry air of the Florida 
winter had preserved their bodies unchanged. He buried them 
all in a common grave, and placed their solitary cannon upright 
at the head of the mound. A beautiful monument was afterward 
erected at the Military Academy of West Point, to the memory 
of Major Dade and his heroic men. 

Beaten in several engagements, the Indians fled to the Ever- 
glades. Expeditions that failed to find the enemy, and murders 
and surprises by an invisible foe, disheartened the army and dis- 
couraged the country. Osceola was the soul of the resistance. 
To every appeal for peace, he replied, " Here I hunted when a 
boy ; here my father lies buried ; here I wish to die." In October, 
1837, while holding a conference with General Jessup, under a 
flag of truce, he was seized and taken to Fort Moultrie, where he 
died the next year. Colonel Zachary Taylor defeated the Indians 


in a sanguinary battle, at Okechobee, on Christmas day, 1837. 
Treaty after treaty was made and broken; bloodhounds were 
imported from Cuba, to the disgust of all Christian hearts ; and a 
fitful war was waged till 1842. Meanwhile the most of this once 
powerful tribe had been transported beyond the Mississippi. 

The year 1835 deserves to be commemorated as the time when 
the Republic was out of debt. The next year, the surplus in the 
Treasury, about thirty-seven million dollars, was distributed among 
the States, on their pledge to return the amount when wanted. 
This influx of capital stimulated business to a hot-house growth. 
Seven hundred banks flooded the country with paper -money. 
Speculation ran riot, especially in western lands. The sales of 
government land increased from one or two million dollars per 
year to twenty millions. New cities were laid out in the wilder- 
ness, and fabulous prices were charged for building lots, which 
existed only on paper. Everybody could get credit, and every- 
body had a project for making a fortune. 

Arkansas, the twenty-fifth State of the Union, was admitted 
June 15, 1836. It takes its name from a tribe of Indians once liv- 
ing within its borders. It was settled by the French, under the 
Chevalier de Tonti, as early as 1685, and in the transfers and ces- 
sions of territory, followed the fate of the other portions of Louis- 

In 1836, Congress accepted the trust of James Smithson, an 
Englishman, conferring upon our government a legacy of five 
hundred and fifteen thousand one hundred and sixty-nine dollars, 
for the " general diffusion of knowledge among men." The Insti- 
tution at Washington which bears his name was founded with the 
proceeds of this magnificent bequest. 

At the Presidential election, Jackson's policy was once more 
endorsed by the people ; Martin Van Buren being chosen his suc- 
cessor by one hundred and seventy votes out of two hundred and 
ninety-four. The Whigs, unable to combine, had three candidates 
in the field, viz., William Henry Harrison, John McLean, and Daniel 
Webster. There being no majority for Vice-President, the elec- 
tion was finally thrown into the Senate, when Richard M. Johnson 
of Kentucky, the Democratic candidate, was chosen. 

Michigan, the twenty-sixth State of the Union, was admitted 
January 26, 1837. The name is derived from an Indian term sig- 
nifying " Great Lake." The first white men within its borders 
were French missionaries, fur-traders, and Canadian voyageurs. 


The oldest settlement is Sault Ste. Marie, founded by Father Mar- 
quette in 1668. Michigan formed a part of the Northwest Terri- 
tory, and then of the Territory of Indiana ; but in 1805 was set off 
by itself. Its early history is intimately connected with that of 
General Lewis Cass, who came to Detroit in 181 5, and invested 
his whole fortune (twelve thousand dollars) in lands lying near the 
village, as it was then. Before he died, the tract was worth two 
million dollars. He was governor of the Territory for sixteen 
years, during which he was a sort of frontier king. He made and 
administered law ; ruled over white and red men ; and negoti- 
ated nineteen treaties with the Indians, buying from them great 
parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Clad in his hunting 
shirt, he traversed the woods and prairies of the northwest, some- 
times in a birch-bark canoe, but oftener on foot ; on one occasion 
traveling four thousand miles in two months. 

March 4, 1837, Martin Van Buren was inaugurated the eighth 
President of the United States. The outgoing and incoming Pres- 
idents rode together to the Capitol in a beautiful phaeton made 
from the wood of the frigate Constitution. In his address, Van 
Buren noticed the fact that he was the first Chief Magistrate born 
since the Revolution, and declared his intention to follow in the 
" footsteps of his illustrious predecessor." During the ceremony, 
Jackson, sitting uncovered in the genial March sun, was the prin- 
cipal object of regard. For once, the rising was eclipsed by the 
setting sun, and when, two days after, the venerable man left the 
Federal city, the great throng who had gathered to see him depart, 
were too full of regrets to speak, and gazed on him in silence as 
he lifted his hat from his white locks, and with his hand waved 
them an adieu. Something of the same feeling, amounting almost 
to reverence, fills the hearts of American citizens even now, at the 
mention of the name of Andrew Jackson. 

Van Buren was of Dutch descent, and was born at Kinder- 
hook, N. Y., December 5, 1782. He early fitted for the bar, but 
the natural bent of his mind was toward politics, in which he soon 
rose to an admitted leadership. In his own State, he reduced the 
management of his party to a science, systematizing it as thor- 
oughly as an army, and making the most perfect organization 
ever known in this country. If Clay, Calhoun, and Webster rank 
among the first statesmen of the time, Martin Van Buren is 
entitled to a place among its most expert and successful poli- 


Financial ruin was the legacy left by the preceding administra- 
tion. Speculation had begotten extravagance. Foreign goods 
had been imported heavily. These had to be paid for in gold and 
silver, which were sent abroad in large quantities. Just before 
the close of his term, Jackson issued the famous " specie circular," 
requiring payments for the public lands to be made in hard money. 
This swept the gold and silver into the Treasury. Then came the 
inevitable crash and the panic of 1837, with the financial ruin of 
hundreds and thousands of business men. During the first three 
weeks in April, two hundred and fifty houses in New York 
stopped payment. In two days, the failures in New Orleans 
reached twenty-seven million dollars. Property of all kinds 
declined in value. Eight of the States in part or wholly failed. 
Even the United States government could not pay its debts. 
Consternation seized upon all classes. Confidence was destroyed, 
and trade stood still. 

After the dissolution of the United States Bank, the State 
banks were used as places of deposit for the public funds. Van 
Buren's favorite plan was the establishment of the sub-treasury 
system now in use. The measure was not passed until near the 
close of his term, and was one of the chief causes of his failure to 
be re-elected, as the moneyed interests of the country unitedly 
opposed the scheme. 

A movement was now in progress in Canada looking to a 
separation of that colony from the mother country, and many of 
our people were disposed to assist their neighbors over the line. 
The President, as the rights of neutrality demanded, issued a 
proclamation forbidding any of the citizens of the United States 
from taking part in the conflict, and warning them that if the/ 
did, they should be left to the mercy of the government whos.2 
dominions they were invading. A body of American sympa- 
thizers having taken possession of Navy Island in Niagara River 
hired a steamer called the Caroline to convey their provisions and 
war materials. On the night of December 29, 1837, a party of 
British troops attempted to seize this vessel at her moorings at 
Schlosser. A desperate fight ensued ; but she was at last set on 
fire and left to drift over the falls. A cannonading was carried on 
for some time between the adventurers on Navy Island and the 
British troops on the Canadian shore. A sufficient force to dis- 
lodge the so-called patriots having collected, they forthwith 
decamped. Other conflicts took place at various points along the 




line. At first, doubtless, many joined the cause from a love of 
liberty, but soon the enterprise degenerated into a scheme of bold 
outlaws longing for plunder and violence. 

The year 1839 saw a g rea t advance in ocean navigation. Dur- 
ing the summer, the steamer Great Western, built in England, the 
first vessel designed expressly for ocean traffic, and the first one 

on which the sails were regarded 
merely as auxiliary, arrived in the 
harbor of New York. 

The Democrats renominated Van 
Buren for the Presidency, but chose 
no Vice-President. The Whigs held 
at Harrisburg, December 2, 1839, one 
of the most memorable political con- 
ventions of our history. Success at 
various State elections augured vic- 
tory in the next presidential campaign. 
A nomination, therefore, seemed al- 
most equivalent to a final decision. 
The prominent candidates were Henry 
Clay, William Henry Harrison, and 
Winfield Scott. At first, Clay re- 
ceived a plurality of votes ; but after 
three days balloting, Harrison was 
nominated ; John Tyler of Virginia 
was placed second on the ticket. 
Clay's friends insisted that he was 
beaten by trickery. The truth, how- 
ever, was that while his popularity 
was unquestioned, his action upon the 
tariff of 1833 was thought to threaten his success at the polls. 

" Give Harrison a log-cabin and a barrel of hard cider," said 
some of his Democratic opponents, "and he will never leave Ohio 
to be President of the United States." His supporters caught up 
this expression, and log-cabins and hard cider straightway became 
Whig watchwords. The name of the prophet's town (see page 370) 
was applied to the victor himself, and the jubilant refrain, 

" Tippecanoe, and Tyler too, 
And with them we'll beat little Van," 

was shouted in song all over the land. The party headquarters in 



every town were located in a log-cabin, the "latch-string" was 
out, and the cider-barrel on tap for all. A miniature log-cabin 
became a favorite badge, and was worn as an ornament by Whig 
ladies, who boasted that their candidate did not occupy a palace 
and use gold spoons and forks, but was content to live in a cabin 
and drink hard cider. Mass meetings and political processions 
then first became general, and aroused the greatest enthusiasm. 
This canvass, therefore, marks an era in the method of conducting 
elections in this country. 

Though Van Buren came into office with a heavy majority, 
the people denied him a re-election by almost as strong an expres- 
sion of their new preference. He received only sixty votes, while 
Harrison and Tyler obtained each two hundred and thirty-four. 
Such a signal revulsion has rarely occurred in the political his- 
tory of the country. After controlling the government for a con- 
tinuous period of twelve years, the Democratic party found itself 
driven from power, and its old opponent installed in its place. 






the ninth President of the United 
States, was inaugurated March 4, 
1 841. His popularity was mani- 
fested in other ways than by the 
large vote he received at the 
polls. It has been the custom to 
name children after those per- 
sons who were especially promi- 
nent at the time of their birth or 
christening. In any community, 
one can thus shrewdly conjec- 
ture the ages of a large propor- 
tion of the people on learning their Christian names. The gener- 
ations of Washingtons, John Adamses, and Jeflfersons have nearly 
run out, but the Andrew Jacksons and William Henrys or William 
Henry Harrisons still flourish among the middle-aged. That the 
latter has been used as a Christian name more extensively than 
any other, is an indisputable evidence of the personal popularity 
of " Old Tippecanoe." Never had the national capital beheld 
such a crowd as thronged to witness his inauguration. An im- 
mense procession of civic and military societies and citizens 
escorted him from his hotel to the Capitol. Harrison himself 
was mounted on a white charger, and was surrounded by officers 
and soldiers who had served under him in the war of 1812-14. 

There was something about the new President that attracted 
every one who came into his presence, inspiring at once confi- 
dence, respect, and affection. He was tall, slender, and pecu- 

1841.] HARRISON'S ADM :iSTRATlON. 437 

liarly graceful in his movements. He had a fine dark eye, 
remarkable for its keenness, fire, and intelligence ; while his 
countenance was strongly expressive of the vivacity of his mind 
and the benevolence of his character. 

General Harrison was born February 9, 1773, at Berkeley, Va. 
Early losing his father, he was left to the guardianship of Robert 
Morris. He had begun to prepare for the practice of medicine, 
when the Indian barbarities along the frontier aroused his mili- 
tary spirit, and he applied for a commission to Washington, who 
had intimately known his father and family. In 1795, he was 
made captain, and was placed in charge of Fort Washington, on 
the site of the present city of Cincinnati. Here he wooed and . 
won the " sweet Anne Symmes," daughter of the proprietor of 
the " Great Miami Purchase," then living in a spacious log-house 
at the North Bend of the Ohio. The father objected to the 
match ; but returning home one day after a brief absence, he 
learned that Harrison had meanwhile wedded his daughter. 
" Well, sir," he said, somewhat sternly, " I understand you have 
married Anne." " Yes, sir," responded Harrison. " How do 
you expect to support her?" the father inquired. "By my 
sword and my own right arm," quickly responded the young 

Harrison was not a politician, and, in making his appoint- 
ments, he complained bitterly of party tyranny. He especially 
disliked Henry Clay, who, when Secretary of State, had repulsed 
his application for an appointment to a diplomatic mission. It is 
said that Clay told him that he was the " most importunate 
office -beggar that the head of a department was ever tor- 
mented by." 

The governorship of Iowa had been pledged by Harrison to 
John Chambers, the suitor for the hand of his son's widow. 
Daniel Webster, then Secretary of State, had also promised it to 
General Wilson of New Hampshire. At a cabinet meeting, the 
President was informed that the members had agreed to support 
their colleague. "Ah! that is the decision then?" asked Harri- 
son. Receiving an affirmative reply, he wrote a few words on a 
slip of paper and handed it to Webster to read aloud. That 
gentleman glanced it over and seemed a little embarrassed, but 
commenced, " William Henry Harrison, President of the United 

States " The general, rising to his feet, interrupted him 

with, " And William Henry Harrison, President of the United 




States, tells you, gentlemen, that John Chambers shall be gov- 
ernor of Iowa." And he was. 

Harrison was not destined to enjoy long the position which 
his fellow-citizens had so almost unanimously conferred upon him. 
After a brief illness, he died on Sunday morning, April 4th, just 
one month after his inauguration. His last words, spoken as if to 
his successor, were, " Sir, I wish you to understand the principles 
of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask no more." 
It was the first time In our history that a President had died in 
office ; and the news was received with every demonstration of 
regard and mourning. 


Among the causes popularly assigned for the death ol Har- 
rison, were the importunities of office-seekers and the persistent 
hand-shaking, so characteristic of our country. The truth is, he 
was a feeble old man at the time of his election. He reached the 
capital in the midst of a driving snow-storm, and walked from the 
depot to his hotel with head uncovered. So broken-down was he 
by excitement, fatigue, and exposure, that during the inauguration 
ceremonies it became necessary to remove him to a side- room, 
and bathe his temples with brandy preparatory to his taking the 

John Tyler succeeded to the presidential chair, being sworn 
into office the second day after Harrison's death. He had shed 
tears at the Harrisburg Convention on the failure of that body to 
nominate Henry Clay. Among the Whigs, there was much sur- 
prise shown at his selection ; and it had been a matter of wonder 
to the thoughtful that a convention so prudent and conservative 
should have chosen such an obstinate obstructionist. " Why," 


said Adams, " this man stood up alone in the Senate, and opposed 
Jackson's force proclamation, resisting the united body at mid- 
night, prompted by some whim that nobody could fathom." 

Tyler was the sixth President of the United States born in 
Virginia. He was graduated at William and Mary College, and 
prepared himself for the bar. He served his State as a member 
of legislature, as Governor, and United States Senator. When 
the British were in the Chesapeake Bay, during the War of 1812, 
he raised a company of soldiers to protect his neighborhood. The 
troops were never brought into action, and his military career 
was a short and bloodless one. From this circumstance, he ob- 
tained the title of " Captain Tyler," often applied to him in ridi- 
cule. Tyler was rather tall and thin, with light complexion, blue 
eyes, and prominent features. His manners were plain and affable, 
and in private life he was amiable, hospitable, and courteous. 

His administration seriously disappointed the expectations of 
the party which had elevated him to power. Upon the question 
of a re-charter of the United States Bank, he was speedily in an- 
tagonism with Congress. A bill reviving that institution being 
vetoed, Congress passed another based entirely on the President's 
suggestions, and complying with all his requirements. His veto 
of this caused the resignation of every member of the cabinet ex- 
cept Webster, then Secretary of State. He remained in order to 
complete the delicate and important negotiations then pending 
with England concerning the northeast boundary between Maine 
and New Brunswick. The Ashburton Treaty, concluded in 1842, 
settled this question, and redounded greatly to the credit of Web- 
ster. He then, also, retired from the cabinet. The whole country 
was thrown into a white heat of excitement over this conflict be- 
tween the executive and the legislative branch of the government. 

While Tyler thus lost the confidence of the party by which he 
was elected, he failed to gain that of his political opponents. 
He assumed a style too aristocratic to please the taste of the 
times. He permitted himself to be called in conversation " Your 
Excellency," as a matter of right. His coach was drawn by four 
horses, while two, and sometimes one, had sufficed for his pre- 
decessors. This was said, however, to have been prompted less 
by personal vanity than a desire to gratify his young wife. For, 
although of mature age, he was married during his term of 
office, the only event of the kind that has yet occurred in our 


In 1842, there was a strange outbreak in the State of Rhode 
Island, known as " Dorr's Rebellion." The government of that 
State was based on the charter granted by Charles II., the elec- 
tive franchise being limited to those holding a certain amount of 
real estate. Thomas Wilson Dorr, favoring a more liberal suf- 
frage, called a convention which framed a new constitution. It 
was ratified by fourteen thousand votes ; a new assembly was 
elected, and Dorr was chosen Governor. He attempted to take 
possession of the capital by force, but was resisted by the charter 
party, led by Governor Samuel W. King. Dorr drew up his 
little army on a hill. Pointing to the State troops, who were ad- 
vancing, he urged his men to fight until the last extremity, and, 
if compelled to retreat, to retire in good order, and with their 
faces to the foe ; adding in a low voice, " As I am a little lame, I 
guess I will go now." The civil war inaugurated in this spirited 
manner proved a bloodless one. In three days the matter ended. 
Dorr fled to Connecticut. The authorities of Rhode Island offer- 
ing a reward of four thousand dollars for his apprehension, he was 
arrested, tried for treason, and sentenced to imprisonment for life. 
He was pardoned, however, in 1847, an d afterward restored to 
citizenship. He died in 1854, but he had lived to see his State 
under a liberal constitution, and his party in legal possession of 
the government. 

The Anti-Rent difficulty in New York, at this time, attracted 
much attention. Lands belonging to the great patroon estates 
(page 56) were held on a kind of feudal privilege, the rent being 
merely nominal, as a handful of wheat or a fat chicken per acre. 
Persons had occupied these farms for a series of years, had im- 
proved them with buildings and fences, and in many instances no 
rent had been demanded. When the owners, their agents, or 
those to whom they had disposed of their interest, at length as- 
serted their claims, there arose a great outcry. Associations were 
formed, and, in some cases, armed resistance was offered by bands 
of persons disguised as Indians. The difficulty was carried into 
politics, and then into the courts. The State Constitution of 1846 
abolished all feudal tenures, and forbade the leasing of agricultural 
lands for a period exceeding twelve years. 

The Mormons also came into prominence about this time. 
Their founder was Joseph Smith of Palmyra, New York. He 
claimed to have had, on the night of September 21, 1823, a super- 
natural revelation, by which he was directed to a spot where he 




K^Ti^ftH P : 


found buried a series of golden plates covered with inscriptions, 
which he translated by means of two transparent stones (Urim 
and Thummim) discovered with them. The result was the Book 
of Mormon, said to be the history of the Jews who settled this 
continent anterior to the Indians. Going west in 1831, with a few 
converts, he settled at Kirtland, Ohio, which was to be the seat of 
the New Jerusalem. Difficulties having arisen, the whole body 
of believers finally fled to Missouri. Bitter conflicts ensued 
with the State authorities ; the militia was called out, and the 
Mormons were forced to leave. They were kindly received in 
Illinois, where they built the city of Nauvoo, and laid the founda- 
tion of a temple. Incurring again the enmity of their neighbors, 
and coming into conflict with the laws, fresh difficulties arose. 
Smith surrendered himself to the authorities, but was murdered by 
a mob. Brigham Young was then chosen president of the body. 
In 1846, the city was bombarded for three days. The Mormons, 
driven out at the point of the bayonet, went first to Council 
Bluffs, Iowa. Thence, in 1847-8, they crossed the plains to 
Salt Lake Valley, where they established a flourishing colony. 
The Mormons accept the Holy Bible as received by all Chris- 
tian people, but believe the Book of Mormon to be an addi- 
tional revelation, and also that their chief or prophet receives 
direct inspiration from God. They practice polygamy, claiming 


that the Scriptures justify, while one of their revelations directly 
commands it. 

A melancholy catastrophe occurred February 28, 1844. The 
President and his cabinet, with a number of senators and 
representatives and distinguished officers, had gone on board 
the steamship Princeton, lying in the Potomac, to witness the 
experimental firing of a large gun, called the " Peacemaker." 
Unfortunately, it exploded, killing Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of 
State, and Thos. W. Gilmer, Secretary of the Navy. The former 
had been in office less than a year, and the latter only thirteen 
days. The shattered remains of the gun were deposited in the 
Brooklyn Navy-Yard, and remained there for many years. To 
one asking of the soldier on duty, what they were, he always re- 
plied that it was the old Peacemaker, called so because it made 
pieces of everything it was aimed at, and finally made pieces of 

In 1844, Caleb dishing, our commissioner to China, negotiated 
a valuable treaty with that country. The United States was the 
first Christian government permitted by the " Celestials " to estab- 
lish itself within their borders. 

While crossing the ocean in the autumn of 1832, there came to 
the mind of Samuel F. B. Morse the conception of the magnetic 
telegraph. Scientific men had gathered all the material for this 
invention. It was his to make it practical, and thus reap the har- 
vest of their sowing. The story of his long struggle to bring his 
discovery to public notice, and finally the appropriation of thirty 
thousand dollars by the Congress of 1842-3, near midnight of its 
closing session, form a thrilling episode not only in the history of 
our country but of the whole world. In 1844, an experimental 
line was completed between Washington and Baltimore. On the 
27th of May the first message ever forwarded by a recording 
telegraph was sent in the sublime words, " What hath God 
wrought?" It was dictated by Miss Ellsworth, who had brought 
to Professor Morse, in his discouragement, the news of the ap- 
propriation by Congress. 

In May of this year, the Democratic Convention met at Balti- 
more, and nominated for President, James K. Polk of Tennessee, 
and for Vice-President, George M. Dallas of Pennsylvania. 

The first public messages ever sent by telegraph were forwarded 
during this convention. They were a notice to Silas Wright, in 
Washington, of his nomination for the office of Vice-President of 

1844-5.] Tyler's administration. 443 

the United States, and his response declining it. Hon. Hendrick 
B. Wright, in a letter to Benson J. Lossing, says: "As the pre- 
siding officer of the body, I read the despatch ; but so incredulous 
were the members as to the authority of the evidence before them, 
that the Convention adjourned over to the following day to await 
the report of a committee sent to Washington to get reliable infor- 
mation upon the subject." 

The Whig candidates were, for President, Henry Clay, and for 
Vice-President, Theodore Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. The 
friends of Tyler, principally office-holders, placed him in nomina- 
tion, but he was forced to decline, appealing, as he said, " from the 
vituperations of the present day to the pen of impartial history." 
The Anti-Slavery party put in the field for the presidency James 
G. Birney of Michigan. 

The question of the campaign was the annexation of Texas, 
which had applied for admission to the Union. The result was 
the triumph of the Democrats, who had unhesitatingly accepted 
this issue. There were enough votes in New York State given 
for the Anti-Slavery candidate to turn its electoral votes for Polk 
and Dallas ; making their vote one hundred and seventy. 

Florida, the twenty-seventh State of the Union, was admitted 
March 3, 1845. Its name is derived from the Spanish word mean- 
ing blooming. The country was settled by the Spaniards, and 
remained in their possession, except between 1763 and 1783, when 
it was held by Great Britain, until 18 19, when it was ceded to the 
United States. 

Among the last acts of Tyler's administration was the 
approval of the joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress 
providing for the annexation of Texas, though the formal admis- 
sion of the Lone Star State dates December 29, 1845. Texas was 
settled by the Spaniards in 171 5 and called the New Philippines. 
Several missions were established, but the Comanche and Apache 
Indians were the terror of the border, and hindered the progress 
of the country. 

Many instances are given of the desperate courage of these 
tribes. After a battle in which the Comanches were severely 
beaten, one of the chiefs shut himself with his squaw in an old 
Spanish house, and refused to surrender. Efforts were made to 
spare him, and the prophet of his tribe was sent to assure him 
that every avenue of escape was cut off. His reply was an arrow 
shot among the troops, killing one of their number. Composition 



balls were thrown into the house through the roof, setting fire to 
the building. Suddenly he appeared at the open door, and with 
desperate energy rushing forth, nearly succeeded in making his 
escape. He dealt death-blows to the last, slaying three men 
before he was shot. His squaw having been killed, he had buried 
her, placing his warrior's saddle at her head. 

When Louisiana was ceded to the United States in 1803, 
Texas became a disputed territory, as the dividing line between 

the Spanish and French possessions had never been definitely 
determined. For years the country was without any settled 
government. Almost the sole judiciary was " Judge Lynch," 
and the only protection for well-disposed settlers was extempo- 
rized " vigilance committees." Its people were like those who 
gathered about David in the wilderness — " every one that was in 
distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was 
discontented." Whenever a man in the States, unfortunate through 
imprudence or design, or sought after for crime, suddenly disap- 
peared, there were usually left behind him the cabalistic letters 
G. T. T., which, translated, meant, Gone To Texas. 

In 1820, Moses Austin of Durham, Conn., obtained a grant of 
land from the government of Spain for the purpose of making a 
settlement. He did not live to complete his design, but his son, 


with a party of immigrants, founded the city which bears his 
name. In 1830, there were twenty thousand Americans in the 
State. Meanwhile, Mexico had thrown off the Spanish yoke. 
The authorities, jealous of the growing prosperity of the Texans, 
forbade further immigration. Various oppressive acts followed, 
until the settlers were driven to declare their independence. 
Santa Anna, having set up a republic in Mexico, tried to subdue 
Texas, but his army was defeated at Gonzales October 2, 1835, 
and a few days after at Goliad. 

November 22, 1835, a convention at San Felipe organized a 
regular government. In this body Sam Houston made his ap- 
pearance. He was a Virginian by birth, but removed to Ten- 
nessee with his widowed mother, and for a long time lived 
among the Indians as an adopted warrior. When leaving to seek 
his fortune in Texas, he said to a fiiend, " Elias, remember my 
words. I will bring that nation to the United States, and if they 
don't watch closely, I will be the President of the White House 

When Austin resigned his position as commander of the Texan 
forces, Houston was placed at their head. He soon took the 
citadel of Bexar — the Alamo — and dispersed the entire Mexican 

Santa Anna now invaded the country with nearly eight 
thousand men and laid siege to the Alamo, then held by only one 
hundred and forty Texans under Colonel Travis. The place was 
taken by storm, the Mexicans losing sixteen hundred soldiers. 
All the garrison fell fighting at their posts except seven who were 
put to the sword after having surrendered. Among them was 
David Crockett, the famous backwoodsman and hunter. Santa 
Anna then attacked Colonel Fanning, who was stationed at Goliad 
with five hundred men. Overwhelmed by superior forces, the 
soldiers surrendered on condition that they should give up their 
arms and return to the United States. In spite of this agree- 
ment, they were all massacred in cold blood. 

General Houston, with the main army of the Texans, was 
brought to bay at San Jacinto April 21, 1836. He had only seven 
hundred and eighty-three men all told, few of whom had ever 
seen a battle. Charging with the cries " Remember the Alamo ! 
Remember Goliad!" he drove the Mexicans to flight, killing 
six hundred and thirty and capturing nearly all the rest. The 
next day Santa Anna was taken while endeavoring to escape. 



Houston rebuked him for his perfidious massacres, but pro- 
tected him from the revenge of the army. 

A treaty made with the captive general secured the independ- 
ence of Texas. It was afterward repudiated by the Mexican 
government, which still claimed the country. Houston was 
elected President of the new Republic, being inaugurated October 


22, 1836. The next year, a proposition was made for admittance 
into the United States ; but it was declined by President Van 
Buren. A similar overture in 1844 received a more favorable 
reply, and on the 4th of July, 1845, a new constitution was 
framed preparatory to the admission of the State as the twenty 
eighth of the Federal Union. 

March 4, 1845, James Knox Polk was inaugurated the eleventh 
President of the United States. He was born in Mecklenburg 
county, N. C, November 2, 1795. His family name was origi- 
nally Pollock. He early removed to Tennessee, which State he 
represented in the House for fourteen years, being speaker twice. 
Having declined a re-election, he was chosen governor. 

His nomination for the presidency was accidental, the conven- 
tion on the first ballot not giving him a single vote. He seemed 
to consider his selection, however, a personal triumph over Van 
Buren, who was strongly urged for the nomination, and his 


appointments were apparently based on this view. He also man- 
ifested a desire to show that he was not under the influence of 
General Jackson, although, as that hero and patriot had been 
called " Old Hickory," so was Polk termed " Young Hickory." 
He gave to James Buchanan the place of Secretary of State, 
notwithstanding Jackson had said to him during a visit at the 
Hermitage, " Don't trust Jeems Buchanan ; I caught him in a 
falsehood once myself." He also appointed as Secretary of Wa; 
Governor William L. Marcy of New York, because of his enmity 
to Van Buren. 

Polk's manner of living was simple in the extreme. A foreign 
gentleman of culture, who visited at the White House during hij 
administration, has left the following description : " The saloon 
might be taken for that of a retired wood-merchant. An old 
piano, which has seen several generations of presidents and lady- 
presidents, a few straw chairs, six mahogany arm-chairs, two 
sofas, a lamp, curtains of white muslin, a crystal lustre, the por- 
trait obligato of Washington — this is all. Mrs. Polk does the 
honors of this sumptuous saloon with a kindness which merits 
better furniture. She rises, converses, shakes hands, is very 
amiable, and, above all, she endeavors to be so. As to the Presi- 
dent's equipages, they are far from requiring a numerous crowd 
of coachmen, valets, and grooms. If he orders the horses to be 
harnessed, his orders run no hazard of being misinterpreted ; he 
owns nothing but a carriage open to the wind, which is defended 
from the rain, the sun, the cold, only by flying curtains of leather. 
Two peaceable horses draw his vehicle." 

Speaking of an interview with the President, he says, " As 
soon as the office-seeker had retired, the President rang the bell 
for his negro. Receiving no answer, Mr. Polk, suspecting the 
difficulty, came himself to meet the visitor, and this without the 
slightest display of anger or ill-humor. Mr. Polk is not tall ; his 
gray eyes are quick and animated ; his manners are those of a 
gentleman ; his smile is intelligent and arch. He gave the vis-tor 
his hand, and made him sit beside him at a table, entering into 
conversation at once, for one can converse with the President of 
the United States. In Europe it is different ; on similar occasions 
one replies, but does not converse. From time to time he inter- 
rupted himself, and turned aside his head to obey a necessity as 
inexorable for a President who chews as for the humblest citizen." 

June 8, 1845, Andrew Jackson died in his seventy-ninth year. 


His last hours among the living were calm and peaceful as was the 
holy day on which he passed away, and he left a memory that is 
as precious as his life was noble and honorable. 

The naval school at Annapolis was formally opened during 
this year. Thus was laid the foundation of an institution for the 
instruction of officers for the navy, of which the country has often 
since had reason to be proud. 

Two troublesome affairs had been left on Polk's hands by the 
preceding administration. One of these was the boundary line 
between Oregon and the British possessions. During the last 
presidential campaign, " Fifty-four forty, or fight ! " had been a 
popular alliterative cry ; our government claiming northward to 
that parallel of latitude. The Democratic party was pledged to 
demand " the whole or none " of that vast region. Fortunately, 
wiser counsels prevailed, and a compromise was effected, the 
boundary line being fixed at the forty-ninth degree. 

The difficulty with Mexico growing out of the annexation of 
Texas was not so easily arranged. In anticipation of trouble, 
Brevet-General Zachary Taylor, then stationed at Fort Jessup, 
Louisiana, had received orders to form an " army of occupation." 
In August, 1845, ne advanced with about four thousand men to 
Corpus Christi, at the mouth of the River Nueces, which was 
claimed by Mexico to be the western boundary of Texas. This 
precautionary measure was not intended by our government as a 
hostile demonstration, strict orders having been given to General 
Taylor not to commit any overt act. Meanwhile the Mexican 
minister had demanded his passports. 

In January, 1846, General Taylor was directed to move his 
forces to the Rio Grande, the boundary claimed by Texas and 
our government. Greeley asserts in his "American Conflict," 
that the President and his cabinet shrank from the responsi- 
bility of this step, but hoped Taylor would take one of the numer- 
ous hints which they gave him to that effect. Fie, however, dis- 
regarded them, and only acted on positive orders. March 28th, 
he arrived at the east bank of the river, where he built a fort 
(afterward called Fort Brown), directly opposite and within can- 
non-shot of Matamoras. Thereupon General Ampudia, in com- 
mand of the Mexican forces, ordered him to retire to the River 
Nueces within twenty-four hours, " else arms and men alone must 
decide the question." Taylor received the message with the grim 
satisfaction that every warrior feels who scents the battle from 


afar. A few days afterward, General Arista, who succeeded 
Ampudia, notified General Taylor that " he considered hostilities 
commenced, and should prosecute them." The Mexican cavalry 
were scouring the country in all directions. Falling in with 
Colonel Cross, who was out riding beyond our lines, they strip- 
ped him of his accoutrements and brutally murdered him, pound- 
ing out his brains with the butt-end of a pistol. Captain Thornton, 
being sent with a small body of dragoons to search for him, was 
attacked, and the whole party were killed or captured. This was 
the first blood shed in the war. 

Taylor's depot of supplies was at Point Isabel, about twenty 
miles east of his camp. Fearful lest this might be captured, he 
hastened thither with the bulk of his army, leaving at the fort only 
three hundred troops under Major Brown. Having secured his 
supplies, he set out on his return the same evening with about two 
thousand men and ten cannon. Reaching Palo Alto about noon 
the next day, he came upon the Mexicans, six thousand strong, 
drawn up in admirable order to oppose his progress. The conflict 
lasted all the afternoon, but the American artillery, at the risk of 
having their caissons blown up, dashed off into the burning prairie, 
and under cover of the smoke, which the wind blew into the faces 
of the enemy, took a position where they could enfilade the Mex- 
ican ranks, and thus force them to a hasty retreat. Our loss was 
forty-seven wounded and nine killed, including Major Samuel 
Ringgold, who was universally beloved. " Leave me alone," said 
he to his brother-officers who gathered around him when he was 
wounded ; " you are wanted forward." 

About four o'clock the next afternoon, May 9th, Taylor came 
again upon the enemy at Resaca de la Palma. They were rein- 
forced and in great ardor, strongly posted in a ravine, about sixty 
yards wide, flanked by dense chaparral — matted shrubs of prickly 
cactus. Taylor was anxious to reach the fort that evening, as he 
distinctly heard its guns only three miles away. After a few 
moments to rest his troops, he opened the battle, outnumbered 
though he was quite three to one. The Mexican guns were splen- 
didly served, and our forces were severely cut up. The fate of the 
day depended upon their capture. Taylor accordingly rode for- 
ward to his dragoons and shouted to their leader, " Captain May, you 
must take that battery ! " " I will do it, sir," was the gallant reply. 
Placing himself at the head of his command, May dashed forward 
through a fire that cost him half his men, leaped over the cannon, 




sabred the gunners, and captured their commander, General La 
Vega, as he was in the act of firing a gun. The infantry followed 
up the attack. The Mexicans fled pell-mell, and many were lost 
in crossing the river. 

On reaching the fort, everything was found safe, though the 
garrison had sustained a heavy bombardment, and its heroic com- 


minder had fallen. In his honor, it was called Fort Brown. In 
a few days the Americans crossed the river, and occupied Mata- 

With the first shot of the war had commenced those horrible 
atrocities on the part of the enemy which have made the name of 
Mexican almost synonymous with cruelty and barbarity. The 
bodies of the dead on the battle-field were stripped and mutilated 
in a dreadful manner. General Taylor called the attention of the 
Mexican commander to the matter, and received for reply that 
" the rancheros and the women who followed the army did it ; 
and he could not control them." General Taylor replied, "I am 
coming over, and will control them for you." 

President Polk, early in May, announced to Congress that 
Mexico had " invaded our territory, and shed the blood of our 
fellow-citizens on our own soil." He was at once authorized to 
accept fifty thousand volunteers. Ten millions of dollars were 


placed at his disposal. An outburst of patriotic fervor swept over 
the country. Three hundred thousand men offered their services. 

The plan adopted by the military authorities was to attack 
Mexico on three different lines. One column, under Taylor, was 
to advance from Matamoras ; another, under General Kearney, 
was to march through New Mexico to California ; and a third, 
under General Wool, was to conquer the northern provinces of 

In September, Taylor advanced from Matamoras with six 
thousand troops. On reaching; Monterey, he found this city 
strongly fortified and garrisoned by ten thousand men, eager to 
avenge the disgrace of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. Tay- 
lor quickly laid his plans. General Worth was sent to carry the 
Saltillo road in the rear of Monterey. Opening a new path over 
the mountains, he captured the fortified heights guarding that 
route, the Bishop's Palace — a stone building obstinately defended 
— and in two days had reached the walls of the city and cut off its 
supplies. The grand assault was made on the 23d. Breaking 
down the doors, the troops entered the houses, dug their way 
with crowbars from building to building, and ascending to the flat 
roofs fought hand-to-hand with the terrified enemy. In the face 
of a tremendous fire from the barricades and artillery, which 
swept every street, the army at last made its way to the Plaza, 
and unfurled the stars and stripes. Ampudia, the Mexican com- 
mander, thereupon surrendered the city, and his men were allowed 
to march out with the honors of war. General Taylor being as- 
sured that Mexico would soon make proposals of peace, granted 
an armistice for eight weeks. 

A correspondent of the Louisville Courier wrote a touching 
incident of this battle. He says : " In the midst of the conflict, a 
Mexican woman was busily engaged in carrying bread and water 
to the wounded men of both armies. I saw the ministering angel 
raise the head of a wounded man, give him water and food, and 
then bind up the ghastly wound with a handkerchief she took 
from her own head. After having exhausted her supplies, she 
went back to her house, to get more bread and water for others. 
As she was returning on her mission of mercy, to comfort other 
wounded persons, I heard the report of a gun, and the poor inno- 
cent creature fell dead. I think it was an accidental shot that 
struck her. I would not be willing to believe otherwise. It 
made me sick at heart ; and, turning from the scene, I involun- 




tarily raised my eyes toward heaven, and thought, Great God ! 
is this war ? Passing the spot the next day, I saw her body still 
lying there, with the bread by her side, and the broken gourd, 
with a few drops of water in it — em- 
blems of her errand. We buried her; 
and while we were digging her grave, 
cannon-balls flew around us like hail." 

The military operations at the 
west had been no less bril- 
liant and successful. Gen- 
eral Kearney started from 


Fort Leavenworth with one thousand men, and after a long and 
weary march of nine hundred miles, reached Santa Fe. New 
Mexico submitted without a blow. After organizing a system of 
government, Kearney then set out with his command for Cali- 
fornia. He had proceeded three hundred miles, when he met 
Kit Carson, who informed him that Colonel Fremont and Com- 
modore Stockton had already conquered that province. Sending 
back the most of his men, he kept on toward the Pacific with one 
hundred dragoons. 

Colonel Doniphan with the main body of Kearney's command 
marched directly across the country from Santa Fe, and finally 
joined General Wool at Saltillo. En route he fought two battles 
against a force quadruple his own, and conquered Chihuahua, a city 
of forty thousand inhabitants. When his soldiers' term of service 


expired, he led them back to New Orleans and discharged them. 
They had been enlisted, marched five thousand miles, and dis- 
banded, all within a year. It was one of the most eventful cam- 
paigns on record. 

General Wool, the inspector-general of the army, had the care 
of all the volunteers. After collecting recruits and forwarding 
reinforcements to Taylor, he set out from San Antonio, Septem- 
ber 20th, with about three thousand raw troops. These he disci- 
plined and trained as he marched over desert regions and through 
mountain gorges. The last day of October he emerged at Mon- 
clova, seventy miles from Monterey, with a " model army." 

The first year of the war had thus proved most successful for 
the arms of the United States. Meanwhile, however, the opposi- 
tion to the annexation of Texas, growing out of the fact that its 
accession had increased the slave-holding area, had not ceased. 
August 8, 1846, the President addressed Congress for an appropri- 
ation of three million dollars, to enable him to negotiate a treaty 
with Mexico. To the bill granting this request a proviso, drawn 
by Judge Brinckerhoff of Ohio, was attached as an amendment. 
It was to the effect that " There shall be neither slavery nor 
involuntary servitude in any territory which shall hereafter be 
acquired or be annexed to the United States, otherwise than in 
the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly 
convicted." Also, " That any person escaping into the same, 
from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the 
United States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and con- 
veyed out of said territory to the person claiming his or her labor 
or service." 

It was known that the introduction of this amendment would 
be repugnant to the feelings of the Speaker of the House, and it 
was apprehended that he might not recognize Brinckerhoff, who 
was one of the most pronounced anti-slavery men in Congress. 
Copies of the proviso were, therefore, distributed among members 
favorable to its passage, David Wilmot of Pennsylvania being 
among the number. He happened to catch the Speaker's eye, 
and this famous proposition received his name. It passed the 
House, but failed in the Senate. 

The Mexicans had no desire for peace. They occupied the 
breathing-spell granted by Taylor in making preparations for a 
more vigorous war. Santa Anna, who had been in exile at 
Havana, was recalled. The armistice having expired, Taylor 




advanced as far as Victoria. Here he learned that Santa Anna 
was coming with a force of twenty thousand men, admirably 
equipped. In the midst of this emergency orders arrived to 
forward the flower of his army to General Scott, who had super- 
seded him in the chief command. Sadly the general complied 

with this requisition, which seemed so fatal to his own glory, if 
not safety. Meanwhile, he sent a courier to Wool, asking him to 
hasten to his aid. In two hours that general was on the road. 
Now was manifested the gratitude of the people for the protection 
Wool had afforded them during his stay. Fourteen of his soldiers 
being unable to travel, the finest mansions opened their doors to 
receive them, and the best women of Parras offered to nurse them. 
During his march, Wool noticed a strong position in the 
mountain-gorge of Angostura, near the hacienda of Buena Vista. 
Here Taylor drew up his little army of five thousand men on the 


morning of the 22d of February. The battle cry was, " The 
memory of Washington." The Mexicans began the engagement, 
and there was desultory fighting through the day. At two 
o'clock the next morning, Santa Anna attempted to turn Tay- 
lor's right flank ; then he launched a column on the centre ; 
next he dealt a heavy blow on the left flank ; finally he led his 
entire reserve in a terrific charge upon the centre, hoping to carry 
the gorge, the key to Taylor's position. The Americans were 
almost overwhelmed by their assailants ; but the artillery held it3 
ground, and the Mexican lancers, torn to pieces by repeated dis- 
charges of grape-shot fired at point-blank range, broke and fled. 
Night came, and the American army lay on its arms. Morning 
revealed the enemy in full flight. 

While the Mexicans were, in general, cruel and treacherous in 
their treatment of our soldiers, living and dead, it is pleasant to 
note, for the sake of our humanity, some of the exceptions which 
occurred. One has already been mentioned. Whittier, in his 
"Angels of Buena Vista," commemorates another. While the 
conflict was raging, some Mexican women were hovering near, 
waiting for an opportunity to minister to the wounded. After 
the firing ceased, they ventured on the field, 

"And their holy task pursued, 
Through that long, dark night of sorrow, worn, and faint, and lacking food ; 
Over weak and suffering brothers with a tender care they hung, 
And the dying foeman blessed them in a strange and Northern tongue. 

" Not wholly lost, O Father, is this evil world of ours ; 
Upward through its blood and ashes spring afresh the Eden flowers ; 
From its smoking hell of battle, Love and Pity send their prayer, 
And still thy white-winged angels hover dimly in the air ! " 

Many anecdotes are told concerning General Taylor's exploits 
in this battle, which were used with great effect in the next presi- 
dential campaign. On the first day, a Mexican officer, coming 
with a message from Santa Anna, found Taylor sitting on his 
white horse, with one leg over the pommel of his saddle. The 
officer asked him, " What are you waiting for?" He answered, 
" For Santa Anna to surrender." After the officer's return, a 
battery opened on Taylor's position, but he remained coolly sur- 
veying the enemy with his spy-glass. Some one suggesting that 
" Whitey " was too conspicuous a horse for the battle, he replied 
that " the old fellow had missed the fun at Monterey, and he 


should have his share this time." Mr. Crittenden, having gone to 
Santa Anna's headquarters, was told if General Taylor would 
surrender, he should be protected. Mr. Crittenden replied, 
" General Taylor never surrenders." In the crisis of the fight, 
the enemy made a desperate attack on a battery commanded by 
Braxton Bragg. General Taylor is said to have ridden up to him 
and cried out, " A little more grape, Captain Bragg." This 
polite and epigrammatic expression, the like of which seldom 
fell from " Old Rough and Ready's " lips, has become historical. 
What he did say, as repeated to the writer by one who heard it, 
was much more emphatic and a great deal more profane. 

The account of the battle given some years afterward by 
General Taylor himself, is of interest, not so much, perhaps, as 
showing the movement of the forces in detail, as giving a general 
idea of the matter. It was told to Judge Butler, who had lost a 
brother, the colonel of the celebrated Palmetto Regiment, in one 
of the most gallant charges of the battle. The judge was natur- 
ally anxious to know the particulars of the engagement, and Gen- 
eral Taylor had promised to gratify him on a day fixed, when he 
should dine with him. As soon as they were alone, he opened 
the subject : 

" Yes, yes, judge," said the general, " your brother was a 
brave man, and behaved like a true soldier. But about the 
battle — you want to know how it was fought?" 

" Yes, general, if you will be so kind. I wish to learn how 
your troops were disposed on the field, and how you posted them 
to resist a force so overwhelming. Santa Anna must have out- 
numbered you four or five to one." 

" The difference was greater than that, I think, but we didn't 
stop to count the Mexicans. I knew there was a heavy force, and 
longed for a couple of regiments more of regulars." 

" Undoubtedly ; but what was your order of battle ?" 

" Why, why, you see, judge, we went to fighting early in the 
morning the first day, and we fit all day long, losing a good many 
men, and at night it looked pretty bad." 

" Well, what next? " 

" When it got dark, I rode over to Saltillo to look after our 
stores and to provide against a surprise." 

" Why did you go yourself? Why not send one of your aids? " 

" You see, judge, everything depended on not having our 
supplies cut off, and I wanted to see after things myself." 


" How was it the next morning when you came on the field ? " 

" Not much change since the night before." 

" Who was the first man you met ? " 

" General Wool." 

" And what did he say ? " 

" < All is lost.' " 

" What was your reply ? " 

" ' May be so, general — we'll see.' And upon that we went to 
fighting again, and fit all that day, and toward night it looked 

The judge, looking rather blank, asked, " What next? " 

" Well, the next morning it was reported to me that Santa 
Anna and all his men had disappeared in the night, and I was 
devilish glad to be rid of them so." 

Two weeks after the battle of Buena Vista, General Winfield 
Scott landed an army of twelve thousand men near Vera Cruz. 
With the exception of Quebec, this is the most strongly fortified 
city in America. The Mexicans had such faith in its strength 
that they left a garrison of only five thousand troops, bidding 
them remember that the city was named Vera Cruz, the Invinci- 
ble. The American guns opened fire on the 22d of March. In 
four days a breach was made. Preparations for an assault had 
already commenced, when a white flag was displayed on the 
walls, and negotiations were begun which resulted in a capitula- 
tion on the 29th. 

April 8th, our forces advanced toward the city of Mexico. 
No resistance was met until the army reached the village of Plan 
del Rio, near the mountain-pass of Cerro Gordo. Here Santa 
Anna was entrenched with a large army. His position seemed 
impregnable ; but by the skill of our engineers, Lee and Beaure- 
gard, a path was cut through the forest around the base of the 
mountain, and cannon were drawn up the precipice by ropes to a 
height overlooking the enemy's lines. Thence a plunging fire 
was opened upon them, simultaneously with an assault in front. 
The Mexicans abandoned their works, their general fleeing on 
mule-back so hastily as to leave behind him his private papers 
and his wooden leg. The next day the army entered Jalapa. 
Thence advancing, it captured the castle of Perote, on a peak of 
the Cordilleras, and, May 15th, took possession of Puebla. The 
inhabitants, flocking to see the troops, were grievously disap- 
pointed by the plain blue which contrasted so greatly with the 






gaudy Mex- 
ican uniform. 
They could 

account for the defeat of 
their armies only by say- 
ing, " The American lead- 
ers are gray-headed men." 

The time of enlistment 
of many of his regiments 
expiring, Scott was now- 
compelled to check his 
victorious career. It was 
not until the beginning of 
August that he resumed 

the march with ten thousand men. The route was a toilsome 
one over steep ascents to the crest of the Cordilleras, where the 
beautiful valley of Mexico burst upon their view. Rapidly de- 
scending, the army soon reached Ayotla, only fifteen miles from 
the capital. Thenceforward the route bristled with fortifications. 
To avoid them, a new road was cut to the south. Rounding 
Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco, Scott reached San Augustin, only 
ten miles from the city. 

Then began the siege. From the 20th of August to the 13th 
of September, history records a series of brilliant assaults. The 
entrenched camp of Contreras, the tite du pont of Churubusco, 
the foundry of Molino del Rey, the fortress of Casa Mata, and 
the frowning citadel of Chapultepec, mark the successive stages 
in the triumphant progress of the American arms. On that last 


day, the troops swept all before them, chasing the defeated Mex- 
icans through the gates into the very suburbs. Night alone 
saved the city. Concealed by the darkness, Santa Anna fled. 
At sunrise in the morning, the army entered the city, and soon 
the flag of the Union was waving over the Halls of the Monte- 

Foremost among the defenders of Chapultepec, were the stu- 
dents of the military school. Amid the storm of the assault, these 
gallant lads were seen fighting heroically to drive back the in- 
vader from the scene of their study and their sports. " Pretty 
little fellows ! " wrote an officer, " I am sad when I think of their 
faces dabbled with blood or convulsed with the agony of a gun- 
shot wound, or when I remember the mothers whose sons, hardly 
more than babies, were in that cruel fight." 

Within six months, Scott had stormed the strongest places 
in the country, won battles against armies double, treble, and 
even quadruple his own, and inarched without a single reverse 
from Vera Cruz to Mexico. He had lost fewer men, made fewer 
mistakes, and caused less devastation in proportion to his victo- 
ries, than any invading general of former times. 

The capture of Mexico finished the war. The treaty of 
Guadalupe Hidalgo was concluded February 2, 1848. New 
Mexico and Upper California were ceded to the United States, 
and the western boundary of Texas was fixed at the Rio Grande. 
In return, our government agreed to pay fifteen millions of 
dollars, and to assume debts due American citizens by the Mex- 
ican government to the amount of three million five hundred 
thousand dollars. The war had cost us about twenty-five thou- 
sand men and one hundred and sixty million dollars. 

The pen with which President Polk signed the treaty was pre- 
sented by his widow to the Tennessee Historical Society. 

During this war several young officers distinguished them- 
selves who, fifteen years later, on a broader field, attracted the 
attention of the world. Among them were Grant, McClellan, 
Lee, Beauregard, Hill, Jackson, Hooker, Longstreet, Buell, John- 
ston, Lyon, Anderson, Kearney, Reynolds, French, Sherman, 
Thomas, Ewell, Sumner, and Davis. Of those officers especially 
mentioned by Scott in his despatches, fourteen became generals in 
the Confederate service and sixteen in that of the Federals. 

John Quincy Adams died February 23d. Though eighty 
years of age, he was still at work, and his final illness seized him 


at his desk in the House of Representatives. His dying words 
were, " This is the last of earth ! I am content ! " 

The Democratic nominee for President was Lewis Cass of 
Michigan, and for Vice-President, William O. Butler of Ken- 
tucky. The Whigs, despairing of electing a statesman, like Web- 
ster, Calhoun, or Clay, determined upon one whose military 
reputation would carry weight with the masses, as it did in the 
case of Harrison eight years before. General Taylor was there- 
fore selected as their candidate for President, Millard Fillmore of 
New York being placed on the ticket for Vice-President. 

The Anti-Slavery, or " Free Soil " party, so called because its 
motto was " Free soil to a free people," met at Buffalo and nomi- 
nated Martin Van Buren for President, and Charles Francis 
Adams, son of John Quincy Adams, for Vice-President. It polled 
only three hundred thousand votes, but is of interest as the germ 
of what became subsequently the Republican party. 

The election resulted in favor of the Whig ticket, the Free 
Soilers casting enough votes in the State of New York to give its 
thirty-six electoral votes to Taylor and Fillmore, accomplishing 
an opposite result from that of four years before. 

Iowa, the twenty-ninth State, was admitted to the Union 
December 28, 1846. It was named from a tribe of Indians, meaning 
"The Drowsy Ones." In 1788, a French Canadian named Julian 
Dubuque acquired here a large tract of land, and engaged in fur- 
trading and lead-mining. The region was not thrown open to 
settlers until after the Black Hawk War. The first permanent 
settlement was made at Burlington, 1833, by emigrants from 
Illinois. Dubuque was also founded during the same year. Iowa 
was successively a part of Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin 
Territories, and when organized as a Territory itself, included all 
of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River. When admitted as a 
State, it was reduced to its present limits. 

Wisconsin, the thirtieth State, was admitted to the Union, May 
29, 1848. It takes its name from its principal river, signifying 
" The gathering of the waters." In 1639, the French mission- 
aries, trappers, and traders explored and occupied the country 
west of Lake Michigan. The first settlement was at Prairie du 
Chien — the dog-prairie. The region was held under French 
dominion until ceded in 1763 to England. Canadian laws gov- 
erned the territory, and the English kept possession with a 
military force at Green Bay until 1796, when it reverted to the 


United States under the treaty. From 1809 to 1818, it was a 
portion of the Territory of Illinois ; it then became attached to 
Michigan, and in 1836 received a separate organization. 

Zachary Taylor was inaugurated Monday, March 5, 1849. 
He was the seventh President of the United States born in 
Virginia. After the Revolution, his father, a colonel in that 
struggle, removed to Kentucky. On the " dark and bloody 
ground " young Taylor imbibed those instincts which made him 
afterward such a successful leader against the Seminoles in 
Florida. During the war of 181 2, with only twenty men, he so 
gallantly defended Fort Harrison, on the Wabash, against a large 
body of Miami Indians, that Madison made him major by brevet — 
the first honor of the kind ever conferred in the American army. 
In 1840, he became a planter at Baton Rouge. He was a Jefifer- 
sonian in principle, but was not a partisan. Indeed, it was said 
during the presidential campaign, that he had not voted for forty 
years, and that a nomination by the Democrats would have been 
equally acceptable to him. When interrogated as to his political 
principles, he replied in substance, " I am General Taylor, the 
conqueror of Buena Vista." His inaugural was a plain document, 
as became one more used to the sword than the pen. A single 
sentence has been often quoted : " We are at peace with all the 
world and the rest of mankind." Yet its strong sense and fervent 
patriotism made it highly acceptable to the people. 

The new cabinet was composed of able men — John M. Clay- 
ton of Delaware, Secretary of State ; William M. Meredith of 
Pennsylvania, Secretary of the Treasury ; George W. Crawford 
of Georgia, Secretary of War; William B. Preston of Virginia, 
Secretary of the Navy ; Thomas Ewing of Ohio, Secretary of the 
Interior (the first appointment to this office) ; Jacob Collamer of 
Vermont, Postmaster-General ; and Reverdy Johnson of Mary- 
land, Attorney-General. 

The Secretary of the Navy proved an apt scholar, and admin- 
istered the affairs of his department successfully, but at the time 
of his appointment he was singularly ignorant of its details. On 
one occasion he was paying his first official visit to the Gosport 
Navy Yard at Norfolk. Commodore Skinner, in command, was 
a "sea-dog" who to a rather insignificant person added a con- 
tempt for forms and dress. He received the Secretary on the 
Pennsylvania, the finest ship in the service. The boatswain was 
a large, handsome man, attired in the uniform of his grade, and 



was conspicuous among the crowd of officers. Mr. Preston took 
him to be the commander, rushed up, and, seizing his hand, shook 
it with great warmth. This blunder produced much merriment, 
and when, a few moments later, the Secretary, looking down the 

main hatchway and 
discovering the pe- 
culiarity of the ship's 
construction, ex- 
claimed, "My ! 

she's hollow ! " it was 
too much, even for 
the stern discipline of 
a man-of-war, and an 
explosion of laughter 
followed that reached 
from the forecastle to 
the quarter-deck. 

About this time, 
an invention was 
brought prominent- 
ly before the people 
which has revolu- 
tionized the domestic 
affairs of the world and released woman from much of the tyranny 
of the needle. In 1845, Elias Howe, one of the benefactors of his 
race, made a sewing-machine essentially like the one now in use. 
Meeting with little success in its sale, he went to Europe, where he 
lived for some years in great destitution. On his return in 1849, 
be found that he had a competitor in I. M. Singer, who had made 
some improvements in the machine and was rapidly introducing it 
to the notice of the public. Howe claimed his own, and after 
much litigation it was allowed. Both of these inventors began 
poor, and gained fortunes — Howe, two million dollars, and Singer, 
nineteen million. 

The first session of Congress under the new administration, 
known as the " Congress of 1850," was a memorable one. Some 
of the most brilliant statesmen in our history — Clay, Calhoun, 
Webster, Benton, Dickinson, and Seward — were prominent in its 
deliberations. Slavery was then, as it continued to be during the 
decade, the ail-absorbing topic of discussion. Its shadow haunted 
every question of the day ; it was a " Banquo " that would never 





" down " at any bidding. The present issue was upon the 
admission of California as a free State. Debate waxed hot. A 
dissolution of the Union seemed at times inevitable. " Five 
bleeding wounds," as Clay termed them, were opened to the gaze 
of the world. The famous " Omnibus Bill," brought forward by 
the " Great Pacificator," as Clay was henceforth called, was in- 
tended to be a healing-plaster for them all. He proposed the 
admission of California as a free State ; the formation of terri- 
torial governments for Utah 
and New Mexico, without any 
provision concerning slavery ; 
the payment of ten million dol- 
lars to Texas to give up its 
claim to the Territory of New 
Mexico; the prohibition of the 
slave-trade in the District of 
Columbia ; and a fugitive slave 
law, enacting that slaves escap- 
ing to a free State should be 
returned to their owners. 

This plan of compromise 
was sustained by the match- 
less eloquence of Clay and 
the unanswerable arguments 
of Webster. During the de- 
bate, William H. Seward of 
New York attacked the meas- 
ure in his famous " Higher 
Law " speech, which was con- 
densed by an opponent in a single sentence : " A senator rises 
in his place, and proclaims that he holds his credentials from 
Almighty God, authorizing him to reject all human enactments." 
The effect of the bill, which finally passed, was to repeal the Mis- 
souri Compromise of 1820, leaving the inhabitants of the incoming 
State to regulate the question of slavery. 

In the midst of this exciting debate, the country was startled 
and saddened by the death of General Taylor. He was the sec- 
ond President who had died in office. His administration was too 
brief to determine fully its character or influence. He possessed 
an old-fashioned patriotism that breathed the very spirit of 
Washington, and he favored every measure that tended to perpct- 



uate the Union. His last public appearance was at the celebra- 
tion of the birthday of our national liberties, only five days before 
his death ; and his last official act was to sign the Clayton-Bulwer 
treaty between this country and Great Britain, which settled their 
respective rights and privileges relating to canal communication 
across Central America. Confronting death with the declaration, 
" I am prepared ; I have endeavored to do my duty," the war- 
worn hero, beloved by many and the enemy of none, passed away. 
It was his first and last surrender. 

The Vice-President, Millard Fillmore, took the oath of office 
the next day, and at once filled the vacancy. He was born in 
Cayuga county, New York, January 7, 1800. He learned the 
fuller's trade, taught school for several years, and was finally ad- 
mitted to the bar. He afterward practised law at Buffalo with 
marked success. His public life had consisted of one term as 
State comptroller and four as congressman. His nomination to 
the vice-presidency, as well as his action in office, tended to in- 
crease the feeling between the two factions of the Whig party in 
New York, and make it of national significance. The " rock o f 
offence " was slavery. Those who believed with Fillmore in the 
Compromise measures of Clay were called "Silver-Grays" or 
" Snuff-takers " ; while those who followed the lead of Seward 
were denominated " Seward-Whigs " or " Woolly-heads." 

The new President selected as his cabinet Daniel Webster 
of Massachusetts, Secretary of State ; Thomas Corwin of Ohio, 
Secretary of the Treasury; C. M. Conrad of Louisiana, Secretary 
of War ; W. A. Graham of North Carolina, Secretary of the Navy ; 
Alexander H. H. Stuart of Virginia, Secretary of the Interior; 
N. K. Hall of New York, Postmaster-General; and J. J. Critten- 
den of Kentucky, Attorney-General. 

California was admitted to the Union as a free State, Septem- 
ber 9, 1850. A Spaniard named Cabrillo visited the country as 
early as 1542. Later, Sir Francis Drake sailed along the coast on 
one of his buccaneering expeditions, and spent a part of the sum- 
mer of 1579 in the harbor of San Francisco. He called the region 
New Albion, but the English took no advantage of his discoveries. 
The name California first occurs in the writings of Diaz, an officer 
who served under Cortes in the conquest of Mexico. Some have 
thought it to be derived from the Latin words Calida Fornax, or the 
Spanish Calient e fomalla, both meaning " hot furnace." The Span- 
iards made the first permanent settlements about 1768; a number; 


of Franciscan friars founding religious establishments, or presi- 
dios, for the conversion of the natives. They taught the Indians 
to cultivate the vine, the fig, and the olive, and to build houses of 
sun-dried bricks called adobe. In 1822, the Mexicans overthrew 
the Spanish power in California, and the fathers were stripped of 
all their influence and property. The entire population in 1831 
was about twenty-three thousand, of whom eighteen thousand 
were Indian converts. Many emigrants from the United States 
now began to settle in its fertile valleys. It was, however, an 
i dated land, visited only by an occasional ship to buy hides and 
tallow. Ir. 1846, Colonel Fremont, then on an exploring tour 
through Oregon and California, received orders to watch over 
the interests of the United States in that region, as there was 
reason to suppose that the country might be transferred to Great 
Britain. He had only sixty-two men in his party, but the fron- 
tier-men raised the " bear flag " and flocked to his aid. In con- 
junction with Commodore Stockton and General Kearney, he 
took possession of California, and held it until it was ceded to the 
United States at the close of the Mexican War. 

On the 2d of February, 1848, a man by the name of James Mar- 
shall, superintendent of a new saw-mill belonging to Captain John 
A. Sutter, came riding wildly into Sacramento. He trembled as 
he showed to his employer a thimbleful of shining particles of 
gold which he had just picked up in the mill-race, where he had 
been at work. They tried to keep the matter a secret, but it was 
soon out. All ordinary employments were laid aside. Ships 
were deserted by their crews, who ran :o the mines, sometimes, 
it is said, headed by their officers. The news spread over the 
world. Thousands rushed to this real El Dorado, over the deso- 
late plains, across the sickly isthmus, and around the stormy cape. 
In a little over a year, California had a population entitling it to 
admission as a State. The bay of San Francisco was soon sur- 
rounded by an extemporized town of shanties and booths. The 
city flourished "like the magic seed of the Indian juggler, which 
grew, blossomed, and bore fruit before the eyes of the spectator." 
Most of the immigrants were energetic, daring, reckless men, and 
its early history is filled with violence, wrong, and bloodshed. A 
" vigilance committee " was finally organized, which took the man- 
agement of affairs into its own hands, arresting, trying, and pun- 
ishing offenders without fear or favor. For five years justice was 
administered in this unauthorized but effectual manner. In 1856, 

4 66 



the last vigilance committee surrendered its power to the regular 
officers of the law. 

San Francisco has been six times nearly destroyed by fire, the 
total loss being estimated at twenty million dollars. Sacramento 
and other large towns have suffered in like manner. Yet such 
have been the thrift and energy of the people, that hardly a month 

*-r-v- -\J V J 'V" ■ '*"f*X %->'■?' *-"* ; -\f' --•'"- '^ -f'-VV S* 

Saa Francisco 

Pacific Ocean. 

would elapse before almost every trace of the disaster had disap- 
peared. The whole history of the State seems to belong rather 
to the realms of fancy than to the sober fields of reality. 

Although the Compromise measures of Clay produced a tem- 
porary lull in the slavery agitation in Congress, they convulsed 
the country at large. " The complex, cumbersome, expensive, 
annoying, and ineffective Fugitive Slave Law," as Benton termed 
it, satisfied neither party. At the North, generally, it was silently 
disregarded. In many places, however, it was bitterly opposed, 
and the legislatures of some of the States afterward passed " Per- 
sonal Liberty Bills," by which it was practically nullified. On 
the other hand, the slave-holding States were exasperated by the 
tone of the abolitionists, and the difficulties which they met when- 
ever they attempted to recover their fugitive slaves. Riots oc- 
curred at Boston, Buffalo, Syracuse, and other points, and the 
whole country was stirred by the tides of passion. 


The power of fiction was never more strikingly illustrated 
than in the influence exerted by a novel which first appeared in 
the summer of 1850 in the National Era, a weekly newspaper pub- 
lished in Washington. The opening chapters of " Uncle Tom's 
Cabin " attracted immediate attention, and the story, which its 
author, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, had intended to be brief, at 
the wish of the publisher and the urgent demand of the public, 
expanded into two volumes. It touched the popular pulse at a 
sensitive moment, and wherever it was read it intensified the feel- 
ing on the engrossing question of the day. The sale of the work 
was unparalleled. Half a million copies are said to have been sold 
in this country, and as many more in Europe. It has been trans- 
lated into all the principal languages of the world, there being 
thirteen or fourteen different editions in Germany alone. 

During this decade, a bright galaxy of literary stars came 
to the meridian. For years William Cullen Bryant had shone 
serenely as the one truly American poet ; while Washington 
Irving and J. Fenimore Cooper, the first American novelist, 
were the national prose-writers, and divided with each other the 
honors of a European recognition. Longfellow, our poet-laureate, 
now began to be heard in those strains that are destined to " echo 
down the corridors of time"; Whittier, the Quaker poet of New 
England, with his verses full of love for humanity, had sung his 
way to the hearts of the people ; Edgar Allan Poe, the unfortu- 
nate, had written " The Raven " and " The Bells " — hints of what 
he might have done had he overcome his besetting sin — and had 
closed his unfortunate career, all untimely ; Nathaniel Hawthorne, 
attracting attention in 1846 through his "Mosses from an Old 
Manse," by the " Scarlet Letter " and " Marble Faun " had won 
a place at the head of novelists ; Prescott's " Ferdinand and 
Isabella," " Conquest of Mexico," and " Philip II.," had proved 
him a master of historical composition ; and Bancroft had begun 
our one great National History. In other, also, than purely lit- 
erary fields was this period especially active. Albert Barnes in 
Biblical research and commentary; Agassiz in natural history; 
Henry in electricity ; Silliman in chemistry ; Hall and Dana in 
geology ; and many other authors and scientific men, contributed 
to human knowledge with a prodigality that seemed to leave 
small gleanings for those who were to follow. 

What is known as the " Manifest Destiny " of our country, i. e., 
the possession and control of the whole American continent, be- 


came a favorite theme with the rising- generation of politicians. 
Cuba especially, said they, should belong to the United States. 
They imagined that the people of the " ever faithful isle " were 
anxious for annexation, and that only a demonstration was neces- 
sary to induce the Cubans to rise tumultuously and throw off the 
Spanish yoke. As the natural outcropping of this mistaken idea, 
a filibustering expedition was formed at New Orleans. About six 
hundred adventurers sailed under the command of General Lopez, 
disguised, however, as emigrants bound for Chagres. They landed 
at Cardenas on the 19th of May, 1850, defeated the Spanish troops, 
and captured the governor and his palace. But Lopez, disap- 
pointed in not receiving any accessions to his numbers, and un- 
able to hold that which he had won, was glad to escape with some 
of his followers, leaving the rest to the tender mercies of the 
Spanish authorities. The United States promptly disavowed the 
attempt. The next year, Lopez, with four hundred and eighty 
men, landed on the northern shore of Cuba. His little army was 
soon scattered. He was hun ed down by blood-hounds, cap- 
tured, and garroted. 

In 1850, the world-famous Swedish singer, Jenny Lind, ar- 
rived in America on the Atlantic, one of the Collins steamers, 
an American line that had just been established. On the 12th of 
September, she gave her opening concert at Castle Garden, New 
York, the receipts being about thirty thousand dollars. The fact 
is significant, since she was the first of that constantly-increasing 
number of foreign vocalists who so largely promote a taste for 
musical culture among our people. 

Charles Sumner of Massachusetts first took his seat in the 
Senate of the United States in 1851. Already widely known as 
a scholar and philanthropist, he at once took a foremost rank in 
the councils of the nation. 

In April of this year the Erie Railway was opened. At the 
commencement of the enterprise, the State of New York loaned 
the company bonds to the amount of three million dollars. A sub- 
sequent act relieved the road from their payment on condition that 
a single track should be completed and engines passed over it 
from the Hudson River to Lake Erie before the middle of May, 
1 85 1. A train having on board the directors went from New 
York to Dunkirk, four hundred and seventy miles, April 28th and 
29th, thus releasing the road from its obligation, and virtually 
making its earnings three million dollars for two days. 


On the 4th of July, the corner-stone of the extension of the 
Capitol at Washington was laid by President Fillmore, with ap- 
propriate and imposing ceremonies, Daniel Webster delivering 
the oration. The cost of the building when completed was over 
twelve million dollars. 

The return of the Advance and Rescue in the fall excited a 
world-wide interest. These vessels had been sent out by Mr 
Henry Grinnell of New York, a year and a half before, to search 
for Sir John Franklin. The party had undergone great hardship 
and peril, but had not lost a life. To the regret of all, the quest 
had been unsuccessful. This expedition made known to the pub- 
lic the name of Dr. E. K. Kane, who had acted as its surgeon, a 
young man whose patient investigations, intelligence, and high 
culture received the praise of all who read the delightful Narra- 
tive which he published. Principally through his enthusiasm, an 
expedition was fitted out for him by Mr. Grinnell, which sailed 
from New York May 30, 1853, and did not return until October 
11, 1855. He failed in the main object of his search, but discov- 
ered what was supposed to be an Open Polar Sea. 

Near the close of the year 185 1, there arrived upon our shores 
the distinguished Hungarian exile, Louis Kossuth. He was 
received at New York with honors such as had been paid to no 
foreigner since the time of Lafayette. The people everywhere 
welcomed him as the exponent of European democracy, and 
thronged to hear his impassioned appeals in behalf of his native 
land. He secured about one hundred thousand dollars, with 
which he returned. Events not favoring a political revolution, he 
made himself comfortable, it is said, with our patriotic contri- 

As to the United States China opened first her closed ports 
and doors, so was it with her neighbor, Japan. The detention 
in captivity of our sailors shipwrecked on its inhospitable shores 
demanded relief. A fleet was accordingly sent to Japan, under 
the command of Commodore Perry, a brother of the hero of 
Lake Erie. In the summer of 1853, his vessels entered the port 
of Yeddo, the first steamers that had ever floated on Japanese 
waters. After great embarrassments, he negotiated a treaty 
which secured for American merchants two ports of entry. 

The last year of Fillmore's administration was marked by the 
death of two of our most illustrious citizens. Henry Clay died 
June 29, 1852, aged seventy-five. To the very last, his efforts 






were directed to the preservation of the Union and to offices of 
peace and good-will. His cordial manner, his splendid personal 
presence, the magnetism of his oratory, and the fascination of his 
conversation had made him more beloved than any public man 
our country has ever seen. His death was taken home to the 
hearts of the people as if he were a member of each household. 
Calhoun had died two years before, and Daniel Webster, the 
last of the great trio, followed Clay in less than four months. 

The feeling of the nation 
at the loss of Webster, the 
grandest orator and the 
greatest statesman of his 
age, is well expressed in the 
beautiful words of Everett : 
"It is all over! The last 
struggle is past ; the strug- 
gle, the strife, the anxiety, 
the pain, the turmoil of life 
is over ; the tale is told, and 
finished and ended. It is told and done ; and the seal of death is 
set upon it. Henceforth, that great life, marked at every step; 
chronicled in journals ; waited on by crowds ; told to the whole 
country by telegraphic tongues of flame — that great life shall be 
but a history, a biography, ' a tale told in an evening tent.' In the 
tents of life, it shall long be recited ; but no word shall reach the 
ear of that dead sleeper by the ocean shore. Fitly will he rest 
there. Like the granite rock, like the heaving ocean, was his 
mind ! Let the rock guard his rest ; let the ocean sound his 
dirge ! " 

The Democratic party met in convention at Baltimore June 
ist, and nominated for President, General Franklin Pierce of New 
Hampshire, and for Vice-President, William R. King of Alabama 
It passed the celebrated rule which occasioned so much disturb- 
ance at subsequent conventions, that two-thirds of all the dele- 
gates present were necessary to a nomination. The contest for 
the selection of candidates lasted four days, and the forty-ninth 
ballot was taken before a result was reached. 

The Whig convention, also held at Baltimore in June, was the 
last one of that party. It nominated for President, General Win- 
field Scott, and for Vice-President, William A. Graham of North 
Carolina. The other candidates were Daniel Webster and Millard 


Fillmore. Webster, when the result was announced to him, 
replied, " Feathers and tar," the former alluding to the love of 
display and decoration which was popularly supposed to be one 
of the characteristics of General Scott, and the latter to the chief 
product of the State from which the candidate for Vice-President 

Both parties pledged themselves distinctly to the compro- 
mise measures of 1850. The " Free Soilers " held a convention 
at Pittsburg, and put in nomination for the presidency, John P. 
Hale of New Hampshire, and for the vice-presidency, George W. 
Julian of Indiana. The Democratic ticket was successful, Pierce 
receiving two hundred and fifty-four out of two hundred and 
ninety-six votes. 

Franklin Pierce was inaugurated fourteenth President of the 
United States, March 4, 1853. He was in the fiftieth year of his 
age, being the youngest person yet chosen to that office. He had 
occupied no very prominent place in American politics, and a 
significant query of the time was, " Who is Franklin Pierce?" 
He was born at Hillsborough, N. H., November 23, 1804. He 
was a graduate of Bowdoin College and a lawyer by profession. 
He had served his State for four years in her legislature, two 
terms in the House of Representatives, and one term in the 
Senate. During the Mexican war, he fought with credit under 
Scott, being wounded at Churubusco. 

March 7th, the Senate, in special session, confirmed the cabinet 
appointments. William L. Marcy of New York became Secre- 
tary of State ; James Guthrie of Kentucky, Secretary of the 
Treasury ; Robert McClelland of Michigan, Secretary of the 
Interior; Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, Secretary of War; 
James C. Dobbin of North Carolina, Secretary of the Navy; 
James Campbell of Pennsylvania, Postmaster-General ; and Caleb 
Cushing of Massachusetts, Attorney-General. 

Shortly after